Five men are behind bars after authorities discovered close to two tons of marijuana inside a shipment of watermelons in Brownsville.
U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents arrested the following five men on federal drug charges Saturday:
Manuel Torres-Hernandez Lauro De La Fuente, Jr. Victor Silva Martin E. Rodriguez Ricardo Ochoa
Court records released on Monday show that that HSI agents had a warehouse off Coolidge Street and East 14th Street in Brownsville under surveillance.
Agents allegedly saw Torres-Hernandez leave the warehouse in an 18-wheeler but make a pit stop at a Stripes convenience store off U.S. Expressway 77/83 and FM 511 in Olmito.
Torres-Hernandez allegedly appeared nervous and was seen making several calls on his cell phone.
Several men were seen getting out of a black Mercury Marauder with one of them speaking to the 18-wheeler driver.
Torres-Hernandez pulled into a nearby hotel before taking off and heading north.
A Cameron County Sheriff TMs Department deputy stopped the 18-wheeler for a traffic violation where a K-9 officer detected the presence of illegal drugs.
Authorities allegedly found some 3,928 pounds of marijuana hidden in a shipment of watermelons.
Deputies also stopped the Marauder where De La Fuente, Silva, Rodriguez and Ochoa were inside.
Torres-Hernandez told investigators that De La Fuente recruited him and that he was supposed to get paid $20,000 to deliver the marijuana to Houston.
All five men appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Morgan in Brownsville on Monday morning.
Judge Morgan denied bond for all five men until a Thursday afternoon hearing.