Texas courts convict Zapata drug trafficker
36-year-old Pedro Navarro, Jr. pleaded guilty to drug charges involving trafficking and money laundering. Navarro's conviction last Thursday was a "huge victory" for law enforcement authorities, as Jim Kouri reports for the Examiner.
The authorities seem to have convicted someone who played a key role in getting marijuana and methamphetamine shipped into the United States, as well as getting dollars from the U.S. across the border into Mexico.
Navarro admitted to a number of things: Using the money he earned from drug trafficking to build a home in Zapata, Texas; using a second home on Falcon Lake to stash large amounts of marijuana for distribution; and conspiring with other members of the ring to launder money.
As Kouri reports, the proceeds from Navarro's operation are said to total more than $18 million.
Many people accused of drug crimes face drug possession charges (like marijuana) rather than serious drug trafficking charges like Navarro. But even small amounts of marijuana can result in charges, ultimately resulting in a criminal record if convicted.
But despite being caught red-handed, so to speak, with a drug like marijuana, law enforcement authorities must still have probable cause to stop and search you. If not, the search could be found to have been illegal, resulting in dismissal of charges.
Source: Examiner, "Leader of Zapata drug trafficking, money laundering organization convicted," by Jim Kouri, 12/9/11