April 04, 2017
Contact: Sammy Parks
Phone Number: (713) 693-3000
Mexican Truck Driver And A Laredo Woman Convicted Of Trafficking Drugs
LAREDO, Texas - A Nuevo Laredo man and a Laredo woman have entered guilty pleas for their roles in a conspiracy to traffic drugs via the World Trade Bridge, announced DEA Special Agent-in-Charge of the Houston Division, Joseph M. Arabit and Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.
Daniel Rodirugez Reyna, 45, entered his plea to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine. Vanessa Bernal, 33, pleaded guilty for her participation as a co-conspirator in the methamphetamine conspiracy.
The investigation began in 2014 when authorities learned of a possible drug transaction with a commercial truck driver expected to be crossing drugs via the World Trade Bridge in Laredo. Upon conducting surveillance, they observed Reyna meet with a confidential source at a warehouse in Laredo as he placed a white plastic bag inside the source’s front passenger window. After he departed the area, authorities were able to obtain the bag, which contained three bundles wrapped in clear cellophane wrap and black electrical tape. Laboratory analysis confirmed the three bundles all contained heroin with a net weight of 2.85 kilograms.
On March 25, 2015, agents conducted surveillance of the same white semi-truck Reyna was driving after it crossed in to the United States from Mexico via the World Trade Bridge. Law enforcement followed Reyna as he drove the a warehouse on El Gato Road in Laredo. Shortly thereafter, a red Dodge Journey arrived. Bernal was later identified as the driver. Reyna then exited his vehicle, carrying a plastic shopping bag and placed it in the back seat of Bernal’s vehicle. After they departed, authorities conducted a traffic stop and found the plastic bag. Inside, they discovered four bundles wrapped in brown tape which all contained crystal methamphetamine with a net weight of 3.9 kilograms.
U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo accepted the pleas today and set sentencing for July 31, 2017. At that time, both face a minimum 10 years and up to life for the conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Reyna faces the same penalty for the heroin conspiracy. Bernal was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing, while Reyna will remain in custody.
The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with the assistance of task force members of the Webb County District Attorney’s Office and the Laredo Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Lou Castillo is prosecuting the case.