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Records: Border Patrol busts meth backpackers near McAllen

(AP File Photo / Eric Gay)

Border Patrol agents busted three Mexican men with backpacks full of meth Wednesday near McAllen, according to the federal criminal complaint against them.

Agents monitoring cameras at the McAllen Tactical Operations Center on Wednesday watched three men with backpacks running through the brush near the Rio Grande.

Border Patrol dispatched a K-9 handler and his dog, Thalia, who found them hiding in an orange grove.

Agents arrested:

  • Rolando Lara-Garcia, 24, a Mexican citizen
  • Rafael Chena-Garcia, 28, a Mexican citizen
  • Edwin Fernan Lopez-De Leon, 19, a Mexican citizen


When agents searched the backpacks, they found small bundles wrapped in brown tape and marked with the word "GAMESA," according to the criminal complaint. The bundles had a combined weight of about 50 kilograms and tested positive for methamphetamine.

Border Patrol contacted the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which sent agents to interview the men.

Lara and Lopez refused to speak with the agents without an attorney present. Chena, though, agreed to speak with the agents.

Chena said he'd been deported from the United States and wanted to come back, according to the criminal complaint. A man nicknamed "El Flaco" offered him a deal: Carry backpacks loaded with "stuff" across the border and earn a free trip to Houston.

Lara, Lopez and Chena are charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

An attorney who represents Lara couldn't immediately comment on the case. Attorneys for Lopez and Chena didn't respond to requests for comment.

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