January 24, 2017
Contact: Wendell Campbell
Phone Number: (713) 693-3000
Laredo Man Sentenced For Possessing 360 Pounds Of Marijuana
LAREDO, Texas - A 29-year-old Laredo man has been ordered to federal prison following his convictions of conspiracy and possession with intent to deliver marijuana, announced Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit, Houston Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. A federal jury convicted Daniel Elizondo March 16, 2016.
Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana, who presided over the trial, handed Elizondo a 46-month sentence to be followed by three years of supervised release. At the hearing, Elizondo admitted his involvement in the marijuana smuggling event and apologized to the court and his family. In handing down the sentence, the court noted that Elizondo took responsibility for his part in the crime. Elizondo was also ordered to complete 50 hours of community service.
At trial, several Border (BP) agents testified that Elizondo was the driver of a pickup truck involved in a marijuana smuggling event. On the night of Dec. 11, 2015, authorities saw several individuals crossing the Rio Grande River carrying bundles of suspected narcotics. They watched the individuals as they hid in a brushy area next to a roadway on the Laredo side of the river.
Approximately an hour and a half later, Elizondo arrived along with two other vehicles. Bundles were then loaded into Elizondo’s truck. He then began to drive away from the scene when he was stopped by BP agents. At that time, they discovered four bundles of marijuana in the bed of the pickup truck and one bundle that had been dropped nearby.
In total, Elizondo was convicted of possessing 360.58 (163.9 kilograms) of marijuana. The value of the drugs at the time of the event was approximately $70,000.
Elizondo was taken into custody following the return of the verdict where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The Drug Enforcement Administration and BP conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. (AUSA) Lisa Ezra and former AUSA Sarah Ellison prosecuted the case.