Two men, Noe De Jesus Martinez-Montelongo, 36, and Fidel Rodriguez-Saldana, 35, both from Nuevo Leon, Mexico, have been sentenced to federal prison for importing over 900 pounds of methamphetamine. U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani made the announcement following a federal jury's conviction on August 23, 2023, after a three-day trial.
U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana imposed a 235-month term of imprisonment for both Martinez-Montelongo and Rodriguez-Saldana. Additionally, they are required to serve five years of supervised release after completing their prison terms. The court highlighted the significant quantity of liquid narcotics the individuals attempted to bring into the United States.
The incident occurred on November 28, 2022, when Martinez-Montelongo and Rodriguez-Saldana tried to enter the U.S. at the Columbia Solidarity port of entry in Laredo. Driving a tractor-trailer without cargo, they were referred to secondary inspection after a K-9 alerted to the tractor. During the inspection, law enforcement discovered secret compartments in each diesel tank containing liquid meth.
A total of 413 kilograms (910 pounds) of liquid meth, valued at approximately $1 million wholesale, were seized from 22 buckets hidden in the compartments. The court found Martinez-Montelongo and Rodriguez-Saldana guilty despite their claim of having no knowledge about the liquid, asserting they were meant to pick up a legitimate load in Laredo.
Both individuals will remain in custody until their transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility, yet to be determined. Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation.