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Three Convicted in Five-Year Drug Conspiracy

FEB 12 (BROWNSVILLE, Texas) – Mario Enrique Patlan, 45, Cristina Patlan, 23, and Reymundo Abel Brown Jr., 27, have all entered guilty pleas today in a long-running effort to smuggle drugs via UPS, announced Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit, Houston Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. All three are Brownsville residents.

Mario Patlan and Brown pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana and 500 grams of cocaine. As part of his plea, Mario Patlan is also forfeiting his interest in two residences in Brownsville. The conspiracy ran from 2007 to 2012.

Mario Patlan’s daughter – Cristina Patlan – entered her plea to possessing 37 kilograms of marijuana with intent to distribute in November 2011.

Evidence presented in support of the pleas demonstrated that Mario Patlan and Brown used their positions at UPS to receive and forward drug-ladened packages via UPS air and ground transportation. The packages were received in the area of Cameron County and were shipped throughout the U.S. During the time of the conspiracy, more than 1000 kilograms of marijuana was shipped via UPS to states such as Minnesota, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Michigan and New York.

As part of her plea, Cristina Patlan admitted she worked as a recruiter or go-between for her father and various drug trafficking organizations.

The trio will remain in custody pending sentencing, which is set for May 18, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen. At that time, Mario Patlan and Brown face a minimum of five and up to 40 years in federal prison and a possible $5 million fine. Cristina Patlan faces up to five and a possible $250,000 fine.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Lindenmuth, Lori Roth and Charles Lewis are prosecuting the case.

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