Laredo, Texas - A 30-year-old Mexican resident has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of conspiring to import and importing nearly 15 kilograms of heroin, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Nestor Omar Dueñas-Jimenez, of Villa de Alvarez, Colima, Mexico, pleaded guilty May 1, 2018.

Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo handed Dueñas-Jimenez a 63-month sentence. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face deportation proceedings following the sentence. In handing down the sentence, the court noted that given his education and background, Dueñas-Jimenez should have known better.

Dueñas-Jimenez is licensed to practice law in Mexico.

On March 4, 2018, Dueñas-Jimenez applied for admission into the United States from Mexico via the Lincoln-Juarez International Bridge driving a Chevrolet Cruze. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers referred him to secondary inspection, during which time they discovered 14.66 kilograms of heroin hidden in his vehicle.

At the hearing, Dueñas-Jimenez said he tried smuggling the narcotics because he wanted money to buy a new car.

Authorities estimate the drugs have a street value of $450,000.

He has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Giselle S. Guerra prosecuted the case.