Trafficker Sentenced to Prison for Smuggling $1.5M Worth of Cocaine in Produce Boxes

McALLEN, Texas – A 50-year-old Mexican national has been ordered to federal prison for possession with intent to distribute 88.5 kilograms of cocaine, announced Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux of the Houston Division and U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Faustino Perez Luna pleaded guilty May 23.

U.S. District Judge Randy Crane has now ordered Luna to serve 70 months in federal prison. In handing down the sentence, the court noted it was a serious offense and involved a lot of narcotics.

On Nov. 13, 2022, Perez Luna was driving a tractor trailer loaded with cocaine. The drugs were the priority load of a known drug trafficking organization.

Luna approached the Falfurrias checkpoint and claimed to be headed to Atlanta to drop a load of produce. However, a K-9 soon alerted to the presence of narcotics within the vehicle. Authorities referred him to secondary inspection where they discovered the cocaine concealed between produce boxes on the tractor trailer.

The drugs weighed approximately 88.5 kilograms with an estimated street value of $1.5 million.

From March 2022 to Nov. 13, 2022, law enforcement arrested several others in connection with this drug trafficking organization. It operated in the lower Rio Grande Valley transporting either narcotics, guns or money.

The investigation led to the discovery of the priority load – the 88.5 kilograms Luna had transported. It was intended for Atlanta, Georgia.

Luna will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with the assistance of Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric D. Flores prosecuted the case.

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