Last week, Ruben Betancourt-Hernandez, 29, of Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jennifer G. Zipps to 78 months of imprisonment. Betancourt-Hernandez had previously pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute marijuana and to the use of a firearm during a drug trafficking offense.
On Sept. 13, 2016, Border Patrol agents near Sonoita, Ariz., tracked a group of five suspected narcotic smugglers. Agents were able to apprehend two men, who were wearing camouflage shirts and pants. Nearby, agents located two bundles of marijuana, an AR-15 style rifle, and an AK-47 style rifle. Agents seized both rifles, which were loaded, extra magazines, and over 300 rounds of ammunition at the scene. During his guilty plea, Betancourt-Hernandez admitted that he intended to deliver the marijuana to other members of the drug trafficking organization and that he carried the AR-15 style rifle in order to protect the drug load.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Department of Homeland Security- Homeland Security Investigations, and the U.S. Border Patrol.