Two Men Handed Prison Sentences for Smuggling Drugs at U.S.-Mexico Border

Two men have been sentenced to prison after their failed attempt at smuggling a hefty load of narcotics across the U.S.-Mexico border. As reported by the U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani, 51-year-old Argelio Chavero from Alton and 41-year-old Agustin Romero Jr., a U.S. citizen residing in Mexico, were found guilty of trying to smuggle 12 kilograms of cocaine and have been handed lengthy prison sentences for their crimes. Chavero’s prior history with the law, including a previous smuggling attempt, has landed him a stern 188-month sentence. Romero, on the other hand, has been sentenced to 57 months behind bars.

These convictions stem from an incident on April 24, 2021, when Homeland Security Investigations got their hands on Romero as he drove into the Hidalgo Port of Entry. While the vehicle appeared ordinary at first glance, an x-ray inspection raised alarms with anomalies detected in the gas tank. Digging deeper, law enforcement officers discovered it was anything but ordinary, with four kilograms of marijuana and 12 kilograms of meth neatly packed away in 33 packages inside the gas tank, as stated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to court documents, Chavero had set up Romero by providing him with the rigged vehicle at the Mexican border entry point. Initially, Chavero played dumb, denying any knowledge of Romero and the smuggling vehicle when questioned. With evidence mounting against him, including incriminating photos of him driving with Romero as a passenger, his denials crumbled.

Both men will now have to confront the consequences of their actions as they wait in custody for their transfer to a federal prison. The court made it clear that for Chavero, this wasn’t a singular misstep but a path of repeated criminal behavior. His own brother is currently in federal custody for a related drug smuggling conviction, which only adds to the narrative of crime in the Chavero family. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Garcia, whose efforts have highlighted the ongoing battle against narcotics trafficking, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.


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