LAREDO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Two Mexican women pleaded guilty to smuggling two pounds of heroin in potato chip bags, federal authorities said.
Maria Luisa Hernandez-Alanis, 41, and Tania Melissa Coutino-Hernandez, 40, pleaded guilty importing 100 grams or more of heroin, court documents show.
On Sept. 4, Hernandez-Alanis and Coutino-Hernandez arrived at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge in Laredo, attempting to enter the United States in a vehicle, a news release from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration stated.
The women presented tourist visas and were referred for a secondary inspection where authorities found two yellow bags of potato chips in Coutino-Hernandez’s purse, the release stated.
“The bags appeared to be sealed and unopened,” the DEA stated in the release. “However, the contents felt like a heavy ball.”
According to the release, the bags were inspected and authorities found heroin bundles weighing 2.17 pounds. An investigation revealed that the women were each paid $300 to import the drugs into the United States.
The women face up to 40 years in prison and a possible fine of $5 million. They will be sentenced at a later date, the release stated.