LAREDO, Texas – A 51-year-old resident of Hendersonville, North Carolina, has been ordered to federal prison for importing meth through Laredo, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Deanne Burkhart Bautista pleaded guilty Aug. 4.
Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo ordered her to serve a 120-month sentence to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release.
On June 3, 2020, Bautista attempted to enter the United States at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge in Laredo. Upon her arrival, a law enforcement query resulted in the discovery that she might be transporting narcotics. A follow-up X-ray examination yielded anomalies in her luggage.
Authorities ultimately found a total of 5.5 kilograms of meth with an estimated street value of $27,000
Bautista admitted she was aware there were drugs in her luggage. She expected to be paid in cash, drugs or both upon final delivery to Atlanta, Georgia.
Bautista will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection and Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Bajew prosecuted the case.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Southern District of Texas