Tractor-trailer trafficker, Ray Anthony Almaroad sentenced for smuggling over 100 kilograms of cocaine
CORPUS CHRISTI, TS (STL.News) A 36-year-old Edinburg man has been ordered to federal prison after admitting to his role in a large cocaine trafficking conspiracy, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Ray Anthony Almaroad pleaded guilty Jan. 26.
Today, U.S. District Judge David S. Morales ordered him to serve an 87-month sentence to be immediately followed by four years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court heard additional statements noting Almaroad’s use of a tractor-trailer hauling a legitimate truckload of limes. He used it as a decoy for the concealed compartment containing over 100 cocaine bundles.
On Nov. 27, 2020, at nearly midnight, Luis Elfego Ramirez drove a tractor-trailer to the Border Patrol checkpoint located near Sarita. Almaroad was the passenger and registered owner of the vehicle. Authorities noted weld marks on the diesel tank where and discovered a custom-made concealed compartment within the fuel tank. Authorities then found and seized 110 bundles of cocaine, with a total net weight of 109 kilograms.
The drugs have an approximate street value of over $3.2 million.
Previously released on bond, Almaroad was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Ramirez, 49, Edinburg, had also pleaded guilty and previously received 120 months imprisonment.
The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with assistance of Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Reid Manning and former AUSA David Paxton prosecuted the case.