HOUSTON -- A 21-year-old airline passenger from Mexico caught in Texas with nearly 4 pounds of heroin in her suitcases has pleaded guilty in an international drug smuggling case.
Prosecutors in Houston say Yessica Chanel Cabanillas-Torres of Sonora, Mexico, pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin. She faces up to life in prison and a $10 million fine during sentencing in May.
Investigators say Cabanillas-Torres claimed to be a law school student when she was arrested last October at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. She arrived on a United Airlines flight from Quito, Ecuador, and was then heading to Newark, N.J.
Cabanillas-Torres said she received $4,000 to transport two suitcases to Newark to an unidentified contact. The heroin was hidden in the walls of the bags.