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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
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  3. 3 Sentenced for Meth Possession Following HSI RGV, Federal Partner Investigation

3 Sentenced for Meth Possession Following HSI RGV, Federal Partner Investigation

Release Date: June 27, 2024

McALLEN, Texas — Three South Texans were sentenced for conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute a total of approximately 5 kilograms of meth following an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Lucille Nicole Mendoza, 43, and Julian Santiago Espinoza Jr., 32, of San Antonio, were each sentenced June 24 to 70 months in prison. Debra Ann Sauceda, 54, received a 60-month-term of imprisonment. Each pleaded guilty Jan. 5, 2022, and each was ordered to serve three years of supervised release following their incarceration.

“Whether illegal drugs are being pushed into our South Texas communities or upstate, HSI will spare no effort to track down drug traffickers and hold them accountable,” said HSI San Antonio Special Agent in Charge Craig Larrabee. “I’m proud of the impressive work by our special agents and our federal partners, who work tirelessly together to maximize all our combined resources to bring to justice those who traffic drugs in our communities. HSI remains committed to working aggressively to ensure our South Texas communities remain safe."

According to court documents, on May 31, 2020, law enforcement officials encountered the trio as they attempted to cross into the United States through the Pharr Port of Entry in a GMC Yukon. At that time, authorities sent them to secondary inspection, which resulted in the discovery of approximately 5 kilograms of meth hidden in the battery.

All 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 Matthew Phelps prosecuted the case.

Last Updated: 06/27/2024
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