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Drug Cartel Member Sentenced

Amistad National Recreation Area

National Park News

On February 15th, Eladio Pena of Roma, Texas, was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison for his role in a cartel drug smuggling operation through Amistad NRA.  Rangers began investigating this case in 2006 and were soon joined by other federal and state agencies.  Pena admitted by pleading guilty that he was a key player in the cartel drug trafficking operation that imported over 10,000 kilograms of cocaine from Mexico across Lake Amistad between 2006 and 2008. The drugs were smuggled in boats through the park and then stored in a warehouse in nearby Del Rio. The drugs were then transported in false compartments in flatbed trailers of 18-wheeler trucks and taken to Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, and North Carolina.  The cartel transported back to Mexico over $60 million in drug proceeds. 



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