McAllen Man Admits to Attempting to Use Government Vehicle to Deliver Cocaine
McALLEN, Texas ‐ Mario Guadalupe Saenz, 27, of McAllen, has pleaded guilty to attempting to possess with intent to distribute approximately nine kilograms of cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
On Oct. 9, 2014, Saenz was observed driving a white Dodge Ram with U.S. government license plates registered to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Saenz drove the USDA-owned vehicle through an opening in the border fence and retrieved a bag from the brush near the Rio Grande River in Hidalgo County. He used the government vehicle to transport the bag to a business parking lot in McAllen.
He was subsequently arrested as investigators discovered the bag contained approximately 9.39 kilograms of a suspected controlled substance, 1.1 kilograms of which tested positive for the properties of cocaine.
U.S. District Judge Randy Crane, who accepted the guilty plea, has set sentencing for April 9, 2015. At that time, he faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison.
Saenz will remain in custody pending that hearing.
The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, USDA-OIG and the McAllen Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen Rees is prosecuting the case.