CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 27-year-old Mission woman has pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute more than 31 kilograms of meth, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Cristina Inez Marquez pleaded guilty to knowingly transporting and possessing over 31 kilograms of meth and five kilograms of heroin.
As part of her plea, Marquez admitted that on Dec. 29, 2021, she drove a gray Ford Explorer northbound on Highway 281 near Alice.
Law enforcement conducted a traffic stop and conducted an inspection. At that time, they discovered the fuel tank had been tampered with and removed. Upon examining the contents, authorities found 12 concealed bundles of what appeared to be crystal meth and black tar heroin. The weight of the bundles exceeded 85 pounds.
Analysis later confirmed the substances in the bundles were in fact crystal meth at 95% purity with a net weight of 31.41 kilograms and black tar heroin with a net weight of 5.95 kilograms. The drugs had an estimated street value of more than $1.3 million.
U.S. District Judge David S. Morales will impose sentencing July 20. At that time, Marquez faces up to life in prison and a possible $10 million maximum fine.
She has been and will remain in custody pending sentencing.
The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Marck is prosecuting the case.