A Texas-based truck owner was sentenced to prison this week after he admitted to smuggling a large amount of cocaine concealed by a legitimate shipment of limes.

On May 19, 36 year old Ray Anthony Almaroad was sentenced to 87 months in federal prison followed by four years of supervised release, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Almaroad pleaded guilty in January to charges related to drug trafficking.

Almaroad was arrested on November 27, 2020, while riding as a passenger in a tractor trailer that he owned as it was driven through a Border Patrol checkpoint near Sarita, Texas.

Luis Elfego Ramirez, 49, was behind the wheel of the semi, which was hauling a load of limes, as it passed through the checkpoint.

Border Patrol officers became suspicious after noticing weld marks on the diesel fuel tank. Upon further inspection, officers discovered a a custom-made concealed compartment within the fuel tank that contained 110 bundles of cocaine weighing 109 kilograms.

The estimated street value of the seized drugs is $3.2 million.

Ramirez also previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 120 months in prison.

The investigation was aided by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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