Jesus Hinojosa-Mines, a US citizen residing in Mexico, was apprehended and refused entry into the United States after officials discovered 6.9 pounds of cocaine concealed in a car battery. Upon further investigation, authorities estimated the street value of the confiscated cocaine to be around $106,000. Hinojosa-Mines now faces potential charges related to drug trafficking and unlawful re-entry into the US.
Arrest at the Veterans International Port of Entry in Brownsville
Hinojosa-Mines was halted at the Veterans International Port of Entry in Brownsville because of irregularities in his recent travel records. Upon further inspection, authorities discovered discrepancies between Hinojosa-Mines’ documented travel history and his actual movements. This prompted an in-depth investigation to determine the nature of these irregularities and assess any potential security risks.
Investigation of Vehicle and Discovery of Cocaine
Upon further examination of his vehicle, authorities found a fresh-looking battery containing metal plates with a white powder inside. The white powder, later identified as lithium, indicated that the battery was a homemade lithium-ion battery. This discovery raises concerns about the safety risks and potential illicit activities associated with unauthorized production and use of such batteries. Later tests verified that the substance was cocaine.
Background of Hinojosa-Mines
Working as a diesel mechanic, Hinojosa-Mines denied any awareness of the narcotics and asserted that he was self-employed in both Brownsville and Matamoros, Mexico. Despite his claims, further investigation revealed inconsistencies in Hinojosa-Mines’ story, leading authorities to believe he may have knowingly played a role in the drug trafficking operation. As the case unfolds, both American and Mexican law enforcement agencies are closely collaborating to uncover the full extent of the network and any potential accomplices.
Alleged Explanation of the Drug-laden Battery
He explained that an older man had come to him after his car battery failed, swapping it with the drug-laden one, intending to meet again later to replace it with a better battery. But unfortunately, the older man never showed up for their scheduled rendezvous, leaving the innocent driver with a battery full of drugs unknown to him. When he later took the vehicle for a routine maintenance check, the mechanic discovered the suspicious battery and alerted the authorities, who then confirmed the presence of illegal narcotics.
Detention Without Bond
Due to his substantial family connections in Mexico, Hinojosa-Mines was deemed a flight risk and is being detained without bond, facing charges of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.In addition to his potential flight risk, authorities highlight that the evidence against Hinojosa-Mines is strong, including testimony from informants and recorded conversations. If convicted, Hinojosa-Mines could face a considerable sentence, which further emphasizes the need for his pre-trial detention without bond.
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Why was Jesus Hinojosa-Mines refused entry into the United States?
Hinojosa-Mines was refused entry after 6.9 pounds of cocaine were discovered hidden inside a car battery in his vehicle. The street value of the confiscated cocaine is estimated to be around $106,000.
Where did the arrest take place?
Hinojosa-Mines was arrested at the Veterans International Port of Entry in Brownsville due to irregularities in his recent travel records.
What kind of battery was used to hide the cocaine?
The cocaine was hidden inside a homemade lithium-ion battery that contained metal plates and a white powder, which was later identified as lithium.
What charges does Hinojosa-Mines face?
He faces potential charges related to drug trafficking and unlawful re-entry into the U.S.
How did Hinojosa-Mines allegedly acquire the drug-laden battery?
Hinojosa-Mines claimed that an older man gave him the battery after his car battery failed, planning to replace it later with a better one. However, the older man never showed up for their scheduled meeting, leaving Hinojosa-Mines with the drug-laden battery unknowingly.
What is the current status of Hinojosa-Mines’ detention?
Due to his strong connections in Mexico and being deemed a flight risk, Hinojosa-Mines is currently being held without bond, facing charges of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.