San Antonio man indicted for smuggling cocaine in pickup truck axle

LAREDO, Texas – A 24-year-old San Antonio resident has been charged with importing 9.6 kilograms of cocaine, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Lowery.

A Laredo federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment June 15 against Jonathan Nunez-Gamboa. He is set to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Diana Song Quiroga in the near future for his arraignment.

The indictment alleges that on May 26, Nunez-Gamboa applied for entry into the United States from Mexico at the Lincoln-Juarez bridge Port of Entry in Laredo. Authorities observed Nunez-Gamboa nervously shaking and sweating, according to the charges. He also allegedly gave inconsistent travel itineraries. The charges allege authorities then referred him and his truck to secondary inspection.

There, an X-ray scan of the pickup truck revealed anomalies in the rear axle, according to the charges. The indictment further alleges there were 14 packages of narcotics stuffed inside a hollowed-out rear axle. These packages were full of a white powdery substance that field tested positive for cocaine, according to the criminal complaint originally filed in the case.  

The cocaine allegedly weighed 9.6 kilograms with an estimated street value of $230,400.

If convicted, Nunez-Gamboa faces up to life in prison as well as a possible $10 million maximum fine.

Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul A. Harrison is prosecuting the case.  

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

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