HARLINGEN — Federal agents removed almost 2,595 pounds of marijuana from a rented stash house in Treasure Hills during a raid Monday, and two men have been formally charged in connection with the seizure.
Rodrigo Alberto Alvarado Valenzuela and Eduardo Estrada were arraigned early Tuesday morning by U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Morgan, said Special Agent-in-Charge Larry Leon of the Drug Enforcement Admin-istration’s McAllen office.
The raid was a joint effort of the DEA, U.S. Border Patrol and the Harlingen Police Department, Leon said.
A woman at the U.S. District Clerk’s Office in McAllen said both men were charged with felony conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute approximately 1,277.29 kilograms or more of marijuana, or almost 2,815.94 pounds.
Daniel Tirado, spokesman for the U.S. Border Patrol’s McAllen office, said the Border Patrol received an anonymous call regarding suspicious activity at 2821 Ted Circle. Upon further investigation, officers observed a suspicious van leaving the area.
“With the assistance of the Harlingen Police Department, they (Border Patrol agents) approached the driver of the vehicle somewhere in a parking lot,” Tirado said. “The driver gave them consent to search the vehicle he was driving. They were able to find boxes of marijuana. The driver told them there was more marijuana at the residence.”
Tirado said officers then raided the home on Ted Circle and seized the marijuana stash inside.
In all, the men were charged based on a seizure of at least 2,815.94 pounds of marijuana.
Leon said the suspects were arraigned in Morgan’s court and remanded to the custody of U.S. Marshals.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Raul Ramirez said both Alvarado and Estrada were being held in one of several facilities, but would not specify which one.