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Drug Smuggler Draws 27-Year Prison Sentence

Release Date: 
October 23, 2013

DEL RIO, TEXAS—An illegal immigrant, caught with more than 580 pounds of marijuana, was sentenced to 27 years in prison recently.

Refugio "Cuco" Soto-Mascorro, 35, was sentenced in federal court on Sept. 30, for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. The conviction stems from a June 28, 2011 arrest when Soto-Mascorro, a Mexican national, along with several other undocumented immigrants, was caught with 587 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $469,600.

U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Comstock Station, following foot sign near Highway 90 West, discovered 10 large bundles of marijuana. Agents continued to follow tracks that led them to Soto-Marrosco and nine other subjects, hiding in the brush.

Soto-Mascorro previously had been apprehended on multiple occasions by the U.S. Border Patrol; and was sentenced to nine months in prison for illegal entry in 2010.

Del Rio Border Patrol Sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch said of the conviction, "This conviction is a true reflection of the professionalism and dedication of law enforcement professionals and federal prosecutors."

The Del Rio Border Patrol Sector is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021