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Border Patrol agents arrest tocayos accused of transporting marijuana for 'El Whiskey'

Border Patrol agents arrested Arturo Garza III, 24, of Alamo and Arturo Jesus Quiroga, 18, of San Juan. (Photos courtesy of the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office)

Border Patrol agents arrested tocayos on Tuesday, when the duo attempted to transport nearly 635 pounds of marijuana for a smuggler nicknamed "El Whiskey," according to the federal criminal complaint against them.

At 3:40 p.m. Tuesday, an agent conducting surveillance near Military Highway watched a silver 2002 Chevrolet Silverado head south on Tower Road toward the Rio Grande. The Silverado passed by the agent again minutes later — headed north.

Border Patrol attempted to stop the Silverado, but the driver sped away, according to the criminal complaint. The truck eventually stopped near the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.

Arturo Garza III, 24, of Alamo and Arturo Jesus Quiroga, 18, of San Juan jumped from the truck and started running, according to the criminal complaint. Agents quickly arrested them.

Border Patrol recovered 11 bundles of marijuana from the Silverado, according to the criminal complaint. The bundles weighed 635 pounds.

Both men agreed to speak with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents at the Weslaco Border Patrol Station.

"Arturo Garza advised that he is a convicted felon, without a job, and short on money," according to the criminal complaint.

Garza said a smuggler nicknamed "El Whiskey" offered him a job transporting marijuana for $1,200 to $1,500, according to the criminal complaint. Quiroga confirmed the story, adding that they planned to split the money.

Garza and Quiroga are charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. They remain in federal custody and couldn't be reached for comment.

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