A Corpus Christi man has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000kg of marijuana.
The announcement came Tuesday from U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, after Senior United States District Judge John Rainey sentenced 42-year old Jose Maria Carbajal, Jr., to 108 months in prison, to be served concurrently.
In May of 2011, Carbajal pleaded guilty to the marijuana conspiracy, as well as charges of making a false statement on a loan application to a federally insured bank.
Carbajal played a leading role in efforts to transport marijuana through ranches surrounding the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint between September of 2008 and January of 2011. They used four-wheel drive vehicles, called Gators, to avoid detection.
The vehicles were loaded with marijuana south of the Border Patrol Checkpoint, and then taken through ranches until reaching an area north of the Checkpoint. The marijuana would then be transferred to ordinary vehicles and taken further into the U.S. for distribution.
One of those vehicles, packed with marijuana, was apprehended during a police investigation, and another was found abandoned on a ranch.
Carbajal also told authorities that, in December of 2010, he assisted the Zeta drug cartel in an attempt to identify those who were cooperating with the government, according to court documents. He claimed to have given the Zeta operatives the addresses of two Brooks County law enforcement officials, whom the drug cartel aimed to kidnap in an attempt to give up the names of those who were assisting them in their drug investigations.
In a separate case in December of 2011, before U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos, five Brooks County men that helped Carbajal pleaded guilty to the marijuana conspiracy. Sentencing for them will begin later this year.
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