(STL.News) – Inocente Rivera, 20, of Ascensión, Chihuahua, Mexico appeared in federal court in Las Cruces, New Mexico on May 15 for an initial appearance on a criminal complaint charging him with possession with intent to distribute 164.4 kilograms of marijuana.
According to the criminal complaint, Rivera allegedly committed the offense in Luna County, New Mexico on May 12. He tried to enter the United States at the port of entry in Columbus, New Mexico allegedly with 305 wrapped bundles of marijuana hidden in the cargo bed of the vehicle he was driving. Rivera allegedly intended to distribute the smuggled marijuana in the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers inspected the vehicle and located the hidden contraband, according to the complaint.
Rivera is currently in custody pending a detention hearing on May 19. He faces up to 40 years in prison. A criminal complaint is only an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley Bartlett is prosecuting the case.