Truck Driver Charged in Attempt to Smuggle Half-a-Ton of Cocaine Into the United States

Oswaldo Lopez-Escobar, of Mexico has been charged for Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine.

On October 4, 2023, Lopez-Escobar, driving a semi-truck, applied for admission into the United States from Mexico at the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales. During a customs inspection of the vehicle, Customs and Border Protection Officers found 155 packages of cocaine concealed in the floor of the trailer. The total weight of the packages was approximately 587 kilograms, or about 1294.2 pounds. The cocaine has an estimated value of between $10.7 and $12.5 million.

A conviction for Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine carries a maximum penalty of up to life in prison with a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison, a fine of $10,000,000.00, or both; and a term of between five years and lifetime supervised release.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the interdiction and subsequent investigation in this case. The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Tucson, is handling the prosecution.