El Paso Man Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for Marijuana Trafficking
ALPINE, Texas – An El Paso man was sentenced Monday in a federal courthouse in Alpine to 96 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
According to court documents, Hector Bernal Jr., 36, was a passenger in a vehicle that entered the primary inspection lane at the Border Patrol Checkpoint in Alpine on Feb. 25. While Border Patrol agents determined citizenship of the driver and Bernal, a Border Patrol canine alerted the agents to the presence of illegal controlled substances. Agents then located eight large brick-shaped bundles in the rear passenger seat of the vehicle, which tested positive for characteristics of marijuana and collectively weighed approximately 112.7 kilograms, or 248.3 pounds.
“Those individuals who break our nation’s laws by distributing illegal narcotics will be pursued by the men and women of the DEA,” said Special Agent in Charge Greg Millard of the DEA’s El Paso Division. “We thank our federal partners for their assistance in this case.”
“This lengthy eight year sentence reflects our commitment to combatting illegal drug trafficking and protecting our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas. “I appreciate the DEA’s continued efforts to prevent drug smuggling, ensuring that those who engage in such activities are held accountable.”
On June 27, the driver, codefendant Hugo Mancinas, was sentenced to 60 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
The DEA and U.S. Border Patrol investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Greenbaum prosecuted the case.