McALLEN — An 18-year-old U.S. citizen from Texas faces drug smuggling charges after he was arrested over the weekend attempting to enter the country on a commercial bus, records show.
Jonathan Emmanuel Sanchez made his formal initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Juan F. Alanis in connection with his Feb. 8 arrest at the Hidalgo port of entry. Sanchez was arrested after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered crystal methamphetamine hidden within packages that were in Sanchez’s possession while traveling in a commercial bus bound for the U.S., the complaint against Sanchez stated.
According to the complaint, Sanchez did not declare narcotics or other contraband to a CBP officer who searched Sanchez’s luggage.
“The CBPO while inspecting the content(s) of one of Sanchez’s bags noticed the texture within a small package of candy within a large mix of candy,” the complaint stated.
These packages, which contained “crystal-like pieces,” were described in the complaint as being “commercially sealed” and labeled as lollipops.
After the discovery, a K-9 alerted officers to drugs within Sanchez’s bag. Sanchez was then interviewed by federal authorities.
“Sanchez claimed the bag containing narcotics was in his possession, however belonged to his acquaintance, and was paid $120, and $170, respectively,” the complaint read. “Sanchez on the first two occasions claimed to have transported various food items, and believed it was the same on this occasion.”
He said he believed he was going to be paid for this attempt as well, but did not know how much he was going to get for the transport.
“Sanchez admitted he found it odd he has been asked to bring in bags belonging to his acquaintance, however did not elaborate further,” the document stated. “Sanchez is aware controlled substances are often brought into the U.S. from Mexico via port of entries.”
Sanchez is scheduled back before the court at a date to be determined in the future for a detention hearing.