McAllen man accused of transporting 253 pounds of methamphetamine

Jan. 27—A McAllen man said he was going to be paid thousands of dollars to transport illegal narcotics from Mexico into the United States, a federal criminal complaint reads.

The federal criminal complaint also states that Mauricio Enrique Paez, born in 2000, knew he was transporting drugs but didn't know it was 114.80 kilograms or 253.09 pounds of methamphetamine.

Paez appeared Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald G. Morgan, who ordered he be held without bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 1.

According to the federal criminal complaint, Paez was trying to cross from Mexico into the United States via the Hidalgo Port of Entry in McAllen Thursday. He told U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers he wasn't transporting any illegal narcotics in the Ford F-150 pickup truck he was driving.

The truck was referred to a secondary inspection area, where CBP officers found an "anomaly" inside the vehicle's gas tank, the federal criminal complaint reads.

"CBPO's noticed the gas tank was divided by an aftermarket trap door which separated the gas from a liquid suspected to be methamphetamine," the federal criminal complaint states.

The CBP officers removed the contents of the tank, conducted a field test on the contents, which tested positive for methamphetamine.

According to the federal criminal complaint, Paez stated he would be paid approximately $6,000 if he successfully transported the narcotics from Mexico into the U.S.