Houston/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on February 23, 2024
Mexican Man Sentenced in Houston to Over 10 Years for Organizing Cocaine Shipments Across U.S. BorderSource: Unsplash/ Tingey Injury Law Firm

Manuel Alejandro Soto-Bazan, a 36-year-old Mexican man, has been sentenced to over a decade in prison for his role in drug trafficking. According to the U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani, Soto-Bazan was convicted of organizing numerous cocaine shipments across the United States-Mexico border.

The sentence was handed down by Chief U.S. District Judge Randy Crane, who ordered Soto-Bazan to 135 months behind bars. This Tamaulipas native pleaded guilty on December 19, 2022, and now, not a U.S. citizen, he will likely face removal from the U.S. after he serves his time, reported the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas.

During the sentencing, evidence indicated that Soto-Bazan was a pivotal figure in a cross-border drug operation. From April to June 2022, he coordinated at least four shipments of cocaine, with an approximate total weight of 20 kilograms and an estimated street value of $200,000.

His role in the scheme included guiding smugglers to specific meet-ups for drug movement and facilitating the extraction of the narcotics from hidden compartments within vehicles upon their U.S. entry. In court, it was revealed that Soto-Bazan was compensated for his trafficking efforts and assisted in the distribution network, the U.S. Attorney's Office stated.

The investigation leading to Soto-Bazan's arrest and conviction was carried out by Homeland Security Investigations and the Texas Department of Public Safety. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore Parran III. For now, Soto-Bazan waits to be transferred to a federal prison where he will start serving his sentence.