September 25, 2017
Contact: Wendell Campbell
Phone Number: (713) 693-3000
Undocumented Alien Residing In Houston Sentenced To 50 Years In Federal Prison In Liquid Meth Case
DEL RIO, Texas - In Del Rio today, United States District Judge Alia Moses sentenced 33-year-old Adrian Pineda-Orozco, an undocumented alien residing in Houston, to 50 years in federal prison for his role in scheme to smuggle over 43 kilograms of liquid methamphetamine into the United States announced Drug Enforcement (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Will Glaspy, Houston Division; United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and Homeland Security (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden, San Antonio Division.
On January 20, 2017, jurors convicted Pineda-Orozco of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of conspiracy to import methamphetamine. Prior to trial, Pineda-Orozco’s co-defendants, 21-year-old Marcelo Guzman and 22-year-old Cyndy Palma, both of Houston, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
Testimony during trial revealed that the defendant orchestrated a statewide methamphetamine importation and distribution scheme, with prior deliveries to Houston and Dallas. On December 18, 2015, Customs and Border Protection officers at the Eagle Pass Port of Entry discovered 15 plastic bottles containing liquid methamphetamine inside a vehicle being driven by Guzman and Palma.
Guzman told officers that he was supposed to deliver the methamphetamine to an individual in Houston. HSI agents executed a controlled delivery of the methamphetamine. Upon arriving at the meeting location, authorities discovered Pineda-Orozco waiting for them. After the agents identified themselves, Pineda-Orozco got back into his vehicle and fled the scene narrowly missing an HSI agent in the process. Pineda-Orozco led authorities on a high-speed chase through residential neighborhoods. The pursuit continued until spike strips disabled his vehicle. No one was injured as a result of the pursuit. Pineda-Orozco was arrested.
Pineda-Orozco has remained in custody since his arrest. Guzman and Palma also remain in federal custody. On July 10, 2017, Judge Moses sentenced Guzman to 144 months in federal prison following by five years of supervised release. On June 5, 2017, Judge Moses sentenced Palma to 168 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release and ordered that Palma pay a $1,500 fine.
The investigation was conducted by HSI together with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Houston Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Paul Harle and Amy Hail prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.