Jury Convicts Matamoros Man of Drug Smuggling
APR 2 -- (BROWNSVILLE, Texas) – A federal jury has convicted Edgar Marroquin-Salazar, 23, of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, on both counts of a two-count indictment charging conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, Special Agent in Charge Zoran B. Yankovich and United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. The trial began on Wednesday of this week before U.S. District Court Judge Hilda G. Tagle culminating in the return of the Brownsville jury’s verdicts today after approximately one hour of deliberation.
Marroquin-Salazar was indicted on one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana and one count of possession of more than 100 kilograms of marijuana with intent to distribute on Jan. 5, 2010.
On Dec. 21, 2009, Border Patrol (BP) agents observed a group of nine people walking in an area East of the Highway 4 checkpoint near Brownsville towards the Brownsville landfill, seven of whom appeared to be carrying heavy bundles consistent with marijuana. When the group passed between two hidden groups of BP agents, the agents moved in to intercept. Marroquin-Salazar was the last person in that line of nine persons and was arrested on the scene with the bundle of marijuana he had carried. The seven bundles of marijuana BP agents observed were found to contain approximately 197.72 kilograms, or 434.98 pounds, of marijuana.
Marroquin-Salazar’s sentencing has been set for June 28, 2010, at 1:30 p.m. before Judge Tagle. At sentencing, he faces a minimum of five years up to a maximum 40 years in federal prison to be followed by a maximum five-year-term of supervised release and up to a $2 million fine. Marroquin-Salazar will remain in custody where he has been since his December 2009 arrest.
This charges against Marroquin-Salazar are the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Customs and Border Protection. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph T. Leonard.