Posted: Jan 30, 2013 5:20 PM
Updated: Jan 30, 2013 5:25 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - A Roma, Texas man faces up to 40 years in federal prison and a $5 million fine for his role in smuggling marijuana from Port Mansfield to Corpus Christi using the Intracoastal Waterway.
Prosecutors say Alberto Lopez plead guilty this afternoon to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana. Authorities say Lopez took part in the plot that used modified shallow bottom fishing boats to move the drugs beyond Border Patrol checkpoints in Falfurrias and Sarita.
Lopez supplied the marijuana and mapped out boat docks near Corpus Christi that would allow the shipments to move on to Houston, according to prosecutors.
During the investigation from November 2010 to December 2012 law enforcement seized four loads of containing 1,600 pounds of marijuana.
Four others convicted in the conspiracy are currently serving time in federal prison or awaiting sentencing.
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