Laredo man, Francisco De Luna sentenced for marijuana smuggling operation
LAREDO, TS (STL.News)2 A 37-year-old local man has been ordered to federal prison for conspiring to import more than 50 kilograms of marijuana, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Francisco De Luna pleaded guilty Aug. 3, 2020.
Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo ordered him to serve a 70-month sentence to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. At the hearing, the defense argued for a lesser sentence due to De Luna’s poor health condition. Judge Marmolejo explained that his health problems were no excuse, noting they were apparently not serious enough to prevent him from continuing criminal conduct. In handing down the sentence, she considered his previous convictions of drug distribution and being a felon illegally in possession of firearm.
On Feb. 12, 2020, co-conspirator Antonio de Jesus Cadena-Rodriguez applied for entry into the United States at the Lincoln-Juarez port of entry in Laredo. A K-9 alerted to contraband in the silver Dodge Grand Caravan he was driving where authorities ultimately found 57.38 kilograms of marijuana.
Cadena-Rodriguez admitted to being a part of a smuggling operation, noting he was supposed to take the vehicle to a pre-arranged location.