ALPINE, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – A Mexican National was sentenced to 70 months in a federal court for the possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

According to court documents, Erick Botello Reyes, 21, attempted to enter the United States at the Presidio Port of Entry on April 2nd. Upon inspection,  a Customs and Border Protection K-9 alerted Officers of a possible narcotics presence inside the vehicle’s dashboard. The officers proceeded to search the vehicle, locating 9.4 kilograms, or about 20 pounds, of cocaine as well as 347.3 grams, or about .765 pounds, of fentanyl.

Reyes was then taken into custody, pleading guilty on June 29th to one count of possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl.

“Cutting off these trafficking attempts disrupts the activities of cartels and other drug trafficking organizations,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas. “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.”

“The sad truth is that the fentanyl epidemic in our communities continues to claim so many lives and it’s utterly unacceptable,” said Special Agent in Charge Francisco B. Burrola of the HSI El Paso Division. “HSI remains committed to investigate and ultimately dismantle 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.”

Homeland Security Investigations investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amy Greenbaum and Matthew Ellis prosecuted the case.