Man promised $400 to smuggle drugs set for sentencing

Defendant had nearly 80 kilos of meth, heroin inside car tires

The sentencing for a U.S. citizen who told federal agents he was going to be paid $400 to transfer large quantities of illicit drugs was reset, records show.

A court set a new sentencing date of Jan. 11 for Edgar Ivan Ortiz, of Pharr, earlier this week related to his April arrest at a port of entry after port officers found him in possession of nearly 80 kilos of methamphetamine and heroin, the complaint against Ortiz states.

On April 25, Ortiz attempted to enter the country at the Hidalgo port of entry, claiming to be traveling from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, headed to McAllen for work, the court record shows.

After he was sent for a secondary inspection, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers conducted a search of Ortiz’s vehicle with the use of an X-ray machine, and discovered anomalies in all four tires.

“A physical search of the vehicle revealed a total of 23 packages concealed within the tires,” the document states.

Between the packages there was a total of 23 kilograms of meth, and 54 kilos of heroin, the complaint states.

During his interview with federal agents, Ortiz admitted that he knew what he was doing was illegal. He added that he was going to be paid $400 to transport the drugs, but believed it was cocaine, not meth or heroin.

Ortiz, who has a criminal history dating back to 2014, according to state jail records, pleaded guilty to two state jail felony charges, a theft charge, and a possession of a controlled substance charge.

Ortiz remains in custody pending his sentencing hearing in January.