The owner of a Laredo,
TX, trucking company has been sentenced to 11 years in federal prison for
attempting to transport and being in possession of more than 2 tons of marijuana.
Chief U.S. District
Court Judge George Kazen sentenced Luis Alfredo Pedraza, owner of LAP Transportation,
to 132 months in prison. A Laredo federal jury convicted Pedraza in August.
On May 4, 2001, Pedraza
was stopped by U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Interstate 35 checkpoint and
began inspecting a load of soft drinks he was hauling. Agents discovered the
pallets of Mexican soda were packed with 150 bundles of marijuana.
During his trial, Pedraza
claimed he was unaware the shipment contained the contraband. Prosecutors
pointed out that the address shown on his shipping documents was nonexistent.
In addition, he couldn't provide the full name of the person for whom he was
shipping the load.