August 01, 2017
Contact: Wendell Campbell
Phone Number: (713) 693-3000
Mexican Truck Driver And A Laredo Woman Sentenced For Trafficking Drugs
LAREDO, Texas - A Nuevo Laredo man and a Laredo woman have been ordered to federal prison for their roles in a conspiracy to traffic drugs via the World Trade Bridge, announced DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Steven Whipple, Houston Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.
Daniel Rodirugez Reyna, 45, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to posses with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine April 4, 2017. On that same date, Vanessa Bernal, 34, pleaded guilty for her participation as a co-conspirator in the methamphetamine conspiracy.
Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo handed Reyna a 135-month sentence, while Bernal was ordered to serve 90 months. At the hearing, the Judge considered that while Bernal had no prior criminal history, she had admitted to receiving drugs and transporting drugs to the Nashville, Tennessee, area on two other occasions which warranted the sentence imposed. Judge Marmolejo noted Reyna also had no prior criminal history, but had admitted to transporting drugs for a two-year-period via the World Trade Bridge as a commercial truck driver. Reyna and Bernal will also be required to serve four years of supervised release following completion of the prison term. Not a U.S. citizen, Reyna is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison.
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.
Previously released on bond, Bernal was taken into custody following the sentencing today where she will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. Reyna has been and 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.