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Man found guilty of smuggling heroin

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Man found guilty of smuggling heroin

23-year-old hid 5 kilograms of drugs in vehicle's drive shaft

A 23-year-old Phoenix man was found guilty by a federal jury Thursday of smuggling heroin into the United States from Mexico, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

Miguel Quintero was found guilty of importation of heroin and possession of heroin with intent to sell after a three-day trial.

Quintero had more than 5 kilograms of heroin, worth as much as $400,000, hidden in the drive shaft of his vehicle when he tried to enter the United States through the San Luis Port of Entry on April 11, said Manny Tarango, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office.

The jury rejected Quintero’s claim that he did not know the drugs were in the vehicle and his defense’s argument that a mechanic or Quintero’s girlfriend in Mexico planted it in the vehicle.

Because Quintero has a prior criminal history, he faces 20 years to life in prison, a $20 million fine, or both, Tarango said.

Quintero is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 23.

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