Ex-Border Patrol Guard Sentenced to 12 Years For Smuggling Cocaine – Free Thought Project
TUCSON (CN) – A former U.S. Border Patrol agent who previously pleaded guilty to drug charges was sentenced on Friday to more than 12 years in prison for smuggling what he believed to be 110 pounds of cocaine.
Juan Pimentel has been behind bars since November 2015, when state troopers pulled over his rental Ford Explorer on Interstate 10 and found 50 bundles of what turned out to be a white powder stuffed in four suitcases, court records show.
Testifying at his sentencing hearing, Pimentel said the suitcases were already inside the SUV when an acquaintance – later identified as an undercover agent — provided it to him. Pimentel was to be paid $50,000 for delivering the bundles to Chicago.
Mark Williams, Pimentel’s lawyer, said his client succumbed to repeated pressure from the undercover agent but had admitted to making a grave mistake and deserved leniency for cooperating with authorities.
“He’s very embarrassed, ashamed, remorseful,” Williams told U.S. District Judge Raner Collins.
From the witness stand, Pimentel looked toward his family and a group of Border Patrol agents sitting in the courtroom, and said he was “sorry to put them through a hard time.”
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