Pharr woman begins 11-year prison sentence for supervising drug conspiracy

A Pharr woman is going to prison following her conviction of conspiring to distribute nearly 6 kilograms of meth, according to a news release the U.S. Attorney’s Office issued Monday.

U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack handed Pharr resident Sadie Elaine Canales, 25, a 140-month prison sentence followed by five years of supervised release.

Although Canales pleaded guilty on Feb. 21, 2018, the court — after listening to additional evidence — determined Monday that she was a supervisor or manager in an extensive narcotics smuggling organization.

On Aug. 6, 2017, after members of the organization loaded meth in Mexico, Canales was alleged to have arranged for narcotics to be transported through the checkpoint near Sarita, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Two women, Beatrice Ortega and Esmeralda Ramos, were recruited to drive the vehicle into the United States by Francisco Javier Castillo Jr. However, authorities discovered drugs hidden inside the vehicle’s dashboard after inspection.

Canales also admitted involvement in transporting marijuana and working with other members to smuggle meth, the news release read.

In total, the court held Canales responsible for a total of 5.83 kilograms of pure meth and 41.68 kilograms of marijuana.

Pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility, Canales was previously released on bond then taken into custody following the sentencing Monday.

Castillo, Ortega and Ramos have all pleaded guilty and are currently serving their sentences. 

Investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration with the assistance of U.S. Border Patrol. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Thorpe.