A Mexican national, Erick Botello Reyes, aged 21, was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, following an incident at the Presidio Port of Entry on April 2.
According to court documents, Reyes attempted to enter the United States from Mexico when Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Presidio Port of Entry inspected his vehicle. A CBP K-9 alerted officers to a possible narcotics presence inside the vehicle's dashboard. Subsequent searches uncovered 9.4 kilograms of cocaine and 347.3 grams of fentanyl. Erick Botello Reyes was taken into custody. He later pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl on June 29.
U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas emphasized the importance of disrupting such trafficking attempts, stating, "Cutting off these trafficking attempts disrupts the activities of cartels and other drug trafficking organizations. In coordination with our federal, state, and local partners, my office continues to hold accountable the individuals who bring fentanyl into the country and carelessly poison our communities."
Special Agent in Charge Francisco B. Burrola of the HSI El Paso Division expressed concern about the ongoing fentanyl epidemic, saying, "The sad truth is that the fentanyl epidemic in our communities continues to claim so many lives, and it's utterly unacceptable. HSI remains committed to investigating and ultimately dismantling drug smuggling organizations who attempt to smuggle and peddle deadly drugs in our communities. This sentence will give ample time for the defendant to think about his criminal activity behind bars."