CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A Southeast Texas man was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison Jan. 26 for attempting to sell large quantities of cocaine and methamphetamines to undercover law enforcement officials.
The investigation that led to the significant prison sentence was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Corpus Christi and the Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Live Oak County Sheriff’s Office and George West Police Department.
Paublo Rueben, a 41-year-old resident of Pharr, was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to 20 years in federal prison to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release for conspiring to sell narcotics to undercover law enforcement officials. Ruben pleaded guilty to the charges July 27, 2022.
At the hearing, the court heard about Rueben’s extensive criminal history and the fact that he was on state probation for a different narcotics conviction at the time of this offense.
During an undercover operation in February 2022, authorities negotiated the purchase of three kilograms of meth and two kilograms of cocaine from a narcotics supplier located in Mexico. They set a time and location to meet with Rueben and his co-defendant, Hector Vasquez Garcia, 46, Alamo, who would be delivering the drugs.
On Feb. 18, 2022, Rueben met with undercover authorities. At that time, they discussed how the narcotics were to be transported and compensation of the supplier.
Shortly after, law enforcement located a vehicle in which Rueben had traveled, conducted a search and located the meth and cocaine in a hidden compartment. Authorities then took Rueben and Garcia into custody.
Rueben will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. Garcia is set for sentencing March 29. He remains in custody pending that hearing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara J. De Peña prosecuted the case.
For more news and information on HSI’s efforts to aggressively investigate narcotics trafficking in Southeast Texas follow us on Twitter @HSIHouston.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
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