DALLAS — A Dallas woman faces up to life in prison after she admitted driving across the border into Texas with more than $1 million of heroin and methamphetamine concealed in the tires of her SUV.
Monica Christine Canales Rodriguez, 51, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of conspiracy to import a controlled substance.
Canales Rodriguez was stopped the afternoon of Sept. 28 as she entered the country from Mexico at the Lincoln-Juarez Port of Entry in Laredo.
She told a Customs and Border Protection officer that she was returning to Dallas after spending two weeks with her boyfriend in Queretaro, about 100 miles northwest of Mexico City. The officer noticed that she seemed nervous and was avoiding eye contact, and she had just two sets of clothes with her, according to court documents.
Officers had Canales Rodriguez drive her Toyota 4Runner through a scanner, which revealed “anomalies” on all four tires. After a drug-sniffing dog detected something in one of the tires, officers removed them.
They found 24 bundles containing about 100 pounds of heroin and 30 pounds of meth, worth more than $1.3 million, authorities said.
Canales Rodriguez then admitted to agents that the SUV had been purchased for her at a Dallas auto auction and she had been told to drive it to Michoacan to receive the drugs. She said she had been promised that the narcotics would be hidden so well that authorities would never find them, according to court documents.
She was supposed to be paid $15,000 after returning to Dallas with the drugs, she said.
Canales Rodriguez is free on $100,000 bond until her sentencing, which has not been scheduled. She faces 10 years to life in federal prison, as well as a fine of up to $10 million.
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