Undercover sting at Brownsville H-E-B nets 2 arrests, 71 pounds of cocaine

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Homeland Security Investigations special agents last week arrested two men after an undercover sting resulted in the seizure of nearly 71 pounds of cocaine.

The undercover operation happened last Thursday in the H-E-B parking lot at 2155 Paredes Line Road in Brownsville, which is where special agents arrested Rolando Valentin Quintanilla Aguas, who delivered 10 bundles of cocaine weighing a little more than 23 pounds to special agents, according to a criminal complaint.

During an interview after his arrest, the complaint said Quintanilla admitted to the smuggling attempt for monetary gain.

“Quintanilla also stated that there were additional bundles located on a property that he rented and that an unnamed individual was maintaining possession of the bundles until Quintanilla returned,” the complaint stated. “Quintanilla provided consent for agents to search the property.”

That property’s address is redacted in the criminal complaint, which said that is where special agents encountered Roberto Cruz Ramirez.

A K-9 inspection of vehicles on the property resulted in a positive alert for narcotics, according to the complaint.

Special agents found 10 bundles hidden in a reusable shopping bag in the cab of one vehicle, which tested positive for cocaine weighing nearly 24 pounds. Investigators found 10 more bundles hidden within the air filter of a second vehicle that tested positive for cocaine that also weighed nearly 24 pounds.

The complaint said that Cruz also confessed after his arrest.

Both men are charged with knowingly and intentionally possessing with the intent to distribute cocaine.

Quintanilla and Cruz made a first appearance in Brownsville federal court on Friday in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Ignacio Torteya III who ordered them held without bond pending a detention hearing, which is scheduled for Wednesday.

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