20-year-old Hidalgo man sentenced to nearly 4 years in prison for cocaine smuggling

A federal judge sentenced a 20-year-old Hidalgo man to nearly four years in prison Tuesday for attempting to smuggle 12 kilograms of cocaine across the border.

U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Alejandro Aguilera-Padron, 20, of Hidalgo — a private in the Texas National Guard — to 46 months in federal prison.

Officers arrested Aguilera on July 25, when he attempted to cross the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge driving a tan 2011 Ford Taurus, according to the federal criminal complaint against him. During a search, officers found 12 kilograms of cocaine hidden in the car.

Aguilera pleaded guilty to importing more than five kilograms of cocaine.

When he addressed the judge on Tuesday morning, Aguilera said he accepted responsibility for the crime and would serve his sentence like a man.

His attorney, Eric S. Jarvis of McAllen, said Aguilera would be dishonorably discharged from the Texas National Guard as a result of the conviction.

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