HIDALGO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A woman who attempted to smuggle meth into the United States near her abdomen while claiming to be pregnant has now been sentenced to prison, federal records show.
Laura Imelda Soto, a U.S. citizen, was sentenced to just over three years in federal prison Thursday in connection to a charge of importing a controlled substance, federal records show.
On Aug. 16, 2022, Soto entered the country through the Hidalgo Port of Entry via the pedestrian lane, a criminal complaint obtained by ValleyCentral stated.
Soto was referred for a secondary inspection where they made the discovery of the drugs.
“During the secondary inspection, [CBP officers] noticed a bulge on Soto’s abdomen area to which she claimed she was pregnant,” the complaint stated.
The complaint stated that Soto exhibited “nervous behavior” and was avoiding eye contact with the officer. During a pat-down, it was revealed that the bulge was actually a girdle containing a package of a crystal-like substance.
The package, which tested positive for characteristics of meth, contained 235.4 grams of the substance, the complaint stated. Authorities also located a 30-pill bottle of Alprazolam, the generic version of Xanax.
During an interview, Soto told special agents that she was at a taco stand in Reynosa looking for ways to make money to pay for rent, the complaint stated. She then said an unknown person sold her the package for $600.
As part of a plea agreement, three additional controlled substance-related charges were dismissed. Soto was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release, records show.