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NOGALES, Ariz. — A Sonora, Mexico, woman was sentenced during the last week of August to 45 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Emma Encinas-Obregon, 34, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, pleaded guilty to importation of methamphetamine. The case was investigated by special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
“This repeat drug smuggler will now be spending the next couple of years in prison as punishment for smuggling drugs,” said HSI Arizona Special Agent in Charge Scott Brown. “Let this be lesson to those thinking of making a quick dollar: You will get caught and you will go to jail. It’s not worth it.”
On Oct. 19, 2022, Encinas-Obregon entered the United States from Mexico in a 2011 Audi A4 through the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales. Concealed inside the vehicle were 50 packages containing 23 kilograms of methamphetamines.
Encinas-Obregon admitted to smuggling drugs into the United States on eight separate occasions since August 2022. Each time, after entering the United States, Encinas-Obregon would leave her car while shopping and members of a criminal organization would remove drugs from her vehicle. Encinas-Obregon earned approximately $2,000 each time she smuggled drugs from Mexico into the United States.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan N. Wesley for the District of Arizona in Tucson prosecuted the case.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
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