Corpus Christi Man Sentenced in McAllen for Cocaine Trafficking
McALLEN, Texas – A 41-year-old resident of Corpus Christi has been ordered to federal prison following his convictions of conspiracy and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. A federal jury convicted Ramiro Cordova Jr. Oct. 18, 2016, following less than two days of trial and approximately an hour of deliberation.
Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane, who presided over the trial, ordered Cordova to serve a 240-month sentence to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, Judge Crane noted Cordova’s status as a career offender due to his criminal history which included convictions for engaging in organized criminal activity to commit aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping and possession with intent to distribute 728 kilograms of marijuana.
During trial, the jury heard that on Sept. 1, 2016, law enforcement learned of a suspicious tractor trailer and conducted surveillance on the vehicle. They later executed a traffic stop on the vehicle in Edinburg, during which time a K-9 alerted to the presence of narcotics. The tractor trailer was then transported to the Pharr port of entry for further inspection where authorities located 40 bundles of cocaine weighing approximately 47 kilograms. Cordova was the driver.
Cordova was arrested and said he believed he was transporting marijuana. However, in subsequent interviews, he admitted he was transporting cocaine and was to be paid approximately $1,000 per kilogram he transported.
At trial, the defense argued that Cordova was transporting the drugs due to threats he received against members of his family for previously serving as an informant. Cordova took the stand and admitted to being previously convicted of transporting more than 700 kilograms of marijuana in 1999 and served 115 months in federal custody. He further testified that after being released from custody, he was coerced into delivering at least an additional six loads of a controlled substance to various cities across the United States, including Chicago.
Texas Department of Public Safety conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Alton Police Department and Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Roberto Lopez Jr. and Robert L. Guerra Jr. prosecuted the case.
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