RGC woman faces drug smuggling charges

Debt owed after relative of cartel member killed in crash, records show 

A Rio Grande City woman arrested Sunday after she was found with 10 kilos of crystal methamphetamine claims she was working for the Gulf Cartel as payment for a debt, records show.

Madeline Deanna Aguilar, 28, faces two federal drug charges in connection with her arrest Aug. 9 after a search of her vehicle turned up 10 bundles of what was later determined to be meth, the complaint against Aguilar stated.

After her arrest at the Rio Grande City port of entry, where she was attempting to enter the country, Aguilar was interviewed by federal agents.

She claimed she was transporting the 10.48 kilos of meth in her personal vehicle, a Ford Fusion, for the Gulf Cartel as part of a debt incurred by Aguilar’s brother.

According to the complaint, Aguilar told agents her brother killed a relative of a member of the Gulf Cartel in a car crash in March 2019.

“Aguilar stated she had purchased the Ford Fusion in January 2019 and has been traveling to Camargo, Mexico 2-3 times a week to visit her 70-year-old father. Aguilar stated that in March 2019 her brother accidentally hit and killed a relative of a Gulf Cartel member while driving a vehicle and was severely punished for the accident,” the document stated.

“A cartel member took Aguilar’s Ford vehicle for 3 weeks and then returned it back to her, informing her that she would be working for the Gulf Cartel transporting narcotics.”

Additionally, Aguilar told agents in May 2019 an unidentified man showed up to her residence in Rio Grande City and took possession of her Ford Fusion, returning it to her hours later.

“Aguilar stated that she told the cartel members that she was willing to transport narcotics into the U.S. to pay off her brother’s accident,” the complaint stated. “Aguilar stated she knows that it is illegal to transport narcotics from Mexico into the United States.”

Aguilar was expected to make her initial appearance before a U.S. magistrate Tuesday in connection with the allegations made against her, records show.

If convicted of the drug charges, Aguilar could serve up to 20 years in prison.