Marijuana smuggler who crossed the river in a floating truck is sent to prison

Published 7:59 am Thursday, January 20, 2022

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A 32-year-old local man has been ordered to federal prison for possession with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Carlos Torres, Brownsville, pleaded guilty April 15, 2021.

Today, U.S. District Judge Rolando Olvera ordered Torres to serve a 31-month sentence to be immediately followed by two years of supervised release.

On Oct. 21, 2020, authorities observed a white pickup truck floating across the Rio Grande River from Mexico into the United States. After arriving onshore, the vehicle headed north toward a gap in the border fence.

Authorities noticed a male, later identified as Torres, driving the truck and activated the emergency lights to conduct a vehicle stop. He drove the vehicle into an open field in an attempt to flee, but eventually drove off a small embankment into a water-filled sandpit. Authorities searched the truck and found 17 bundles of marijuana weighing 184.47 kilograms.

The drugs had an estimated value of $325,360.

Torres has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and Border Patrol conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Coronado prosecuted the case.