Trucker gets 11 years for drug smuggling

| Wednesday, December 26, 2001

A Laredo, TX, truckdriver was sentenced Dec. 17 to more than 11 years in prison after a federal jury found him guilty of marijuana smuggling in August. David R. Gallegos was sentenced to prison by U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison for smuggling more than 2,500 pounds of marijuana.

A jury found Gallegos guilty Aug. 21 despite his defense that he knew nothing of the illicit cargo in the trailer. He was arrested May 11 at the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 35. A drug-sniffing dog alerted to the trailer where agents discovered 100 bundles of marijuana stacked behind pallets loaded with plastic racks. At the time of his arrest, Gallegos reportedly told the investigating agents that he met a man named "Juan Lara" at a local meat market, who had hired him to deliver the plastic pallets to the Union Pacific Railroad yard in San Antonio.

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