A Moreno Valley man was sentenced to 16 years in prison for importing more than 36 kilograms of fentanyl from Mexico into the United States.

Moises Moreno, 38, of Moreno Valley, was found guilty by a jury of trying to smuggle pills inside his pickup truck at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on June 6, 2021. According to prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the pills were contained in 35 packages, which were hidden inside a false ceiling on the roof of the truck. 

The compartment was created by welding sheet metal underneath the truck’s roof to create a false ceiling where the pills were hidden.

Prosecutors also presented evidence from Moreno’s cell phone and calls Moreno made to unidentified associates after his arrest. According to prosecutors, Moreno bragged about how he “played dumb” after his arrest and “acted like he thought they found weed in his car.”

He further boasted to another associate about the amount of drugs he was caught smuggling and sang that he “got keys [a slang term for kilograms] coming from overseas”, a line from a popular hip-hop song discussing drug trafficking.

Moreno told investigators that this friend must have set him up to import drugs in the vehicle without his knowledge, but the jury rejected Moreno’s story and returned a guilty verdict.

He was sentenced Monday to 200 months in prison. 


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