Jury Convicts San Antonio Man of
JAN 27 -- (LAREDO, Texas) – A federal jury has convicted Roberto Huerta-Sanchez III, 34, of San Antonio, Texas, of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute more than two tons of marijuana, Special Agent in Charge Zoran B. Yankovich and United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.
The jury returned its guilty verdicts late yesterday afternoon following a two-day trial in federal court before United States District Judge Keith Ellison. Huerta-Sanchez faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment up to life and a fine of up to $4 million at sentencing. A pre-sentence investigation report has been ordered and a date for sentencing is to be set in the near future.
During trial, the jury heard testimony that on April 12, 2006, Huerta-Sanchez drove a tractor-trailer to the Border Patrol checkpoint located on IH-35 north of Laredo. During an inspection of the tractor-trailer, Border Patrol agents found 80 bundles of marijuana weighing approximately 1,950 kilograms (4,290 pounds) along with crates of nylon rope inside Huerta-Sanchez’s trailer. According to the bill of lading Huerta-Sanchez presented, he was supposed to deliver his cargo to a company in Dallas. A company representative testified that Huerta-Sanchez’s bill of lading was phony because their company was not expecting him to deliver any cargo. The defense unsuccessfully attempted to convince the jury that someone else had put the marijuana inside his trailer without his knowledge.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Border Patrol and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sam Sheldon and Michael Elliott.