Texas – A 26-year old Mexican native from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, has
been ordered to federal prison following her conviction for conspiring with
intent to distribute more than 40 kilograms of meth, announced U.S. Attorney
Ryan K. Patrick. Claudia Janeth Ozuna-Celaya pleaded guilty July 3.
Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo
ordered Ozuna-Celaya to serve 87 months of imprisonment. Not a U.S. citizen, she
is expected to face removal proceedings following the sentence. During the
hearing, the court heard evidence regarding how the meth was hidden inside her
car’s tires which required the use of buzz saws and welding torches to extract
the bundles. In handing down the sentence, the court noted Ozuna-Celaya brought
poison into the United States and made matters worse by including her child in
wrongdoing. Judge Marmolejo admonished her in that there was no excuse or
justification for her minor son to be with her when she committed this crime.
March 15, Ozuna-Celaya drove a white Audi with Nuevo Leon license
plates into the inspection area of the Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint near
Interstate Highway 35 north of Laredo. At the time, her 4-year-old son was
present in the vehicle.
During the immigration inspection, a service K-9 alerted
to the possibility of concealed narcotics, and authorities immediately referred
her to secondary inspection. There, they scanned the vehicle and discovered
several abnormalities in the vehicle’s tires. Authorities subsequently searched
the tires where they found multiple bundles totaling approximately 49.5
kilograms of meth with a purity of 99%. It is valued at approximately $871,000.
Upon questioning, she claimed to be the owner of the Audi
and travelled regularly to San Antonio to go shopping with her cousin. A
further investigation confirmed that cousin was not aware she was coming to
has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of
Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the
investigation with assistance from BP. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francisco J.
Rodriguez is prosecuting the case.