A 24-year-old Nogales, Sonora man who was caught trying to drive a load of marijuana into the United States through Nogales was sentenced to five years of unsupervised probation, as well as 180 days in the county jail.

Cristian Javier Carrillo Manriquez was given credit for 82 days already served when he was sentenced Aug. 19 by Judge Thomas Fink of Santa Cruz County Superior Court. Carrillo had previously pleaded guilty to a Class 3 felony offense of transporting marijuana for sale.

Court records show that he was caught May 29 at the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry with 30 packages of marijuana concealed throughout the vehicle he was driving. The stash weighed a total of nearly 162 pounds.

During a post-arrest interview, Carrillo reportedly told an investigating agent that he had arranged with a male subject to transport marijuana from Nogales, Sonora to Tucson in a vehicle registered in his name in exchange for $3,000 to $4,000. He said the same person had also paid him $1,300 for driving the same vehicle to Tucson to pick up money that he believed had come from the sale of illegal drugs.

In a pre-sentencing memorandum, Carrillo’s defense lawyer wrote that he is a non-U.S. citizen and is “dismayed by the fact that he is going to lose his ability to come to the United States as a result of his actions. He loves the United States, and most of his family members are either U.S. citizens or they travel regularly to the United States.”

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