Laredo man sentenced to prison for possession of marijuana
LAREDO, TX — Rodolfo Aranda, 25, of Laredo, has been ordered to prison for possession with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Aranda pleaded guilty Sept. 10, 2013.
U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana ordered Aranda to federal prison for 60 months which will be immediately followed by a five-year-term of supervised release. He was further ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.
On July 11, 2013, U.S. Border Patrol (BP) agents arrested Aranda for absconding from authorities on Highway-44 near Laredo. He had been driving a pick-up truck with tampered oil-field numbers, at times drastically increasing and decreasing his speed. BP requested a registration check of the vehicle and learned the license plates did not match the vehicle. Suspicious of illegal activity, agents initiated an immigration inspection and activated their overhead lights.
Aranda then accelerated his vehicle and abruptly turned off the highway, driving his truck through a ranch fence and into the brush. He exited his vehicle on foot and fled through the ranch.
A three-hour manhunt ensued and involved both air and ground patrol. He was arrested within the brush as a result of the search.
At the time of his arrest, Aranda’s fingerprints were found within the vehicle as well as matching footprints near the crime scene. Agents also discovered 20 bundles of marijuana, weighing 202.8 kilograms and valued at $357,760 within the truck.
Aranda will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and US Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sanjeev Bhasker prosecuted the case.