MCALLEN–A jury deliberated for an hour before finding a Cuban national guilty of smuggling crystal methamphetamine
Alexander Lorenzo Gil-Cruz, 39, was found guilty on two counts related to the importation of crystal methamphetamine, according to federal prosecutors.
During trial, the United States presented evidence that Gil-Cruz drove a Ford Focus loaded with 10 kilograms of methamphetamine in a man-made hidden compartment from Mexico through the Anzalduas Port of Entry at 5:30 p.m. last January.
The methamphetamine seized from Gil-Cruz’s vehicle was 98% pure and was valued at more than a quarter million dollars.
The prosecution also demonstrated that January 7th was not the first time Gil-Cruz had entered the United States driving such a vehicle. He was caught in December driving a different Ford Focus, but also with an empty hidden compartment with large amounts of money stacked on table.
The defendant testified and denied knowing the drugs were in his vehicle.
He attempted to convince the jury that the purpose of his many trips to Mexico was to chat with women at the local mall and tried to imply the drugs were loaded into his vehicle while it was parked in the mall parking lot.
The defense also tried to show the jury that Gil-Cruz was a good guy and, as a Cuban refugee, he would never betray the country that had given him so much.
The jury ultimately found him guilty of importing 10 kilograms of methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute in excess of 10 kilograms grams of methamphetamine.
Gil-Cruz, who is a legal permanent resident, faces a minimum of 20 years in federal prison when he gets sentenced in August.