Mexican national Juan Carlos Castillo-Cantu headed to prison for attempting to smuggle meth

(STL.News) – A 42-year-old resident of Monterrey, Mexico, has been sentenced to federal prison following his conviction of conspiracy with intent to distribute meth, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Juan Carlos Castillo-Cantu pleaded guilty Oct. 2, 2019.

Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo ordered him to prison for a total of 96 months.  Not a U.S. citizen, Castillo-Cantu is expected to face removal proceedings following the sentence.

On July 17, 2019, Castillo-Cantu drove a Dodge Ram pickup truck to the Lincoln-Juarez Bridge Port of Entry in Laredo.  A K-9 then alerted to the presence of narcotics, after which an x-ray examination revealed anomalies in all four tires.

Ultimately, authorities removed a total of 24 bundles from aftermarket compartments in the wheels.  They all tested positive for meth at a purity level of 98%.  The drugs had a net weight of 69.7 kilograms.

Castillo-Cantu was to be paid $5,000 to drive the narcotics-laden truck to Dallas.  There, he expected to receive specific instructions where to make final delivery of the vehicle.  Someone would then remove the drugs, after which Castillo-Cantu would then drive the truck back to Mexico.

Castillo-Cantu was also supposed to recruit other drivers.  However, they decided to back-out at the last minute.

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