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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
  2. News Room
  3. Mexican Citizen Sentenced for Organizing Cocaine Shipments

Mexican Citizen Sentenced for Organizing Cocaine Shipments Following HSI Rio Grande Valley, Texas DPS Investigation

Release Date: February 22, 2024

McALLEN, Texas — A South Texas man was sentenced for trafficking multiple shipments of cocaine following Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Texas Department of Public Safety investigation.

Manuel Alejandro Soto-Bazan, 36, of Mexico, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Randy Crane on Feb. 22 to serve 135 months in federal prison. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face removal proceedings following his imprisonment. At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence that detailed how Soto-Bazan organized multiple cocaine shipments to be smuggled into the United States. In handing down the sentence, the court noted that Soto-Bazan played a key role in the trafficking scheme. Soto-Bazan pleaded guilty Dec. 19, 2022. At the time of his plea, he admitted he facilitated multiple cocaine shipments into the United States through the Hidalgo Port of Entry.

“Anyone contemplating facilitating shipments of dangerous narcotics should ask themselves if they are prepared to forfeit their freedom for years to come,” said HSI San Antonio Special Agent in Charge Craig Larrabee. “HSI is committed to working tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations involved in the trafficking of dangerous contraband.”

According to court documents, between April and June 2022, Soto-Bazan coordinated at least four separate shipments of cocaine totaling approximately 20 kilograms. He directed other drug smugglers to specific locations. He then coordinated the transfer of the drugs to other vehicles for further distribution. The drugs Soto-Bazan was responsible for transporting had an estimated street value of $200,000.

Soto-Bazan admitted he was paid to traffic drugs and helped remove drugs from concealed compartments hidden in vehicles after they entered the United States.

He will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Theodore Parran III prosecuted the case.

For more breaking news and information on HSI San Antonio efforts to aggressively investigate drug trafficking in South Texas follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @HSI_SanAntonio.

Last Updated: 04/22/2024
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