ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A Columbus, NM man will face at least 10 years in prison for trafficking meth into the United States. On Thursday, a federal court found 57-year-old Sergio Ruiz guilty of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams and more of a substance containing methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute that substance, and importation of 500 grams and more of the substance.


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Ruiz was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 23. According to court documents, Ruiz attempted to cross into the united states at the Columbus Port of Entry, coming from Palomas, Chihuahua. The documents said Ruiz was a regular crosser at Columbus and was carrying a large amount of cinder blocks and two 55-gallon drums, and was directed to a secondary inspection area.

A scan of the truck showed an anomaly in the spare tire which alerted a U.S. Customs and Border Protection canine unit. Inside the tire, CBP officers found five packages containing meth weighing over 45 pounds.

Ruiz faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison. He will remain in custody until his sentencing hearing, which has not been scheduled.