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      Brownsville bombing victim gets prison time for drug trafficking

      File Photo

      A man who was almost killed by a package bomb will spend more than two years in federal prison for his role in a drug trafficking conspiracy.

      Jesus Mauricio Juarez, Jr. appeared before U.S. District Court Hilda Tagle in Brownsville on Wednesday morning.

      Judge Tagle sentenced Juarez to 31 months in federal prison a drug trafficking conspiracy that ended when the Brownsville man's family received a package bomb.

      The January 2013 explosion wounded Juarez, his wife and their daughter.

      Federal prosecutors reported that an investigation into the packing bombing revealed Juarez was part of drug smuggling ring.

      The group used 18-wheelers to send bundles of marijuana from the Rio Grande Valley to Houston and other cities up north.

      Prosecutors said one member of the group practiced the santeria religion and would sacrifice animals to "bless" the drug loads.

      But prosecutors said those blessings didn't prevent a rival drug trafficking organization from hijacking one Juarez's drug loads in Houston and sending the package bomb to his home.

      Judge Tagle discussed the bombing and noted that at least Juarez and his family still have their lives.

      Another member of the group, Ruben Gonzalez-Cavazos got 47 months in federal prison for his role in the ring.

      Santeria priest Francisco Javier Maya went to trial last week in Brownsville and was convicted on all counts but will be sentenced on May 13th.

      Two other members of the group, Adolfo Lozano-Luna Alberto Martinez also pleaded guilty and will be sentenced at a later date.