A Kentucky woman, who tried to smuggle nearly 2,000 fentanyl pills into the United States from Mexico in her underwear and vagina, pleaded guilty to federal drug charges this week in South Texas.
Yenny Yamileth Pino, a 21-year-old Kentucky resident and U.S. citizen, transported the potent synthetic opioid within her genitals in exchange for “discounted” plastic surgery, say the feds.
On August 12, 2018, Pino attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico Border at a Texas port of entry where she was detained and later arrested. U.S. Customs and Border Protection referred her to a secondary inspection as a result of “inconsistencies in her travel itinerary” when she walked across the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge, according to the criminal complaint filed against her. Agents conducted a pat down during which they found two vacuumed sealed bags in her underwear. The bags contained 881 unidentified blue pills.
Then, Pino disclosed she carried an “unknown object in her vaginal area,” according to the complaint. She gave officers written permission so they could perform a medical examination. In doing so, investigators discovered Pino had a cylinder-shaped object inside her vaginal cavity. It measured 5.9 inches in length, was wrapped in a black material, and secured by a condom. They removed the object. Authorities opened it, revealing another 1,100 unidentified blue pills.
In total, CBP seized 1,981 blue pills either on or inside of Pino that day. Investigators suspected the pills were the controlled substance, fentanyl.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents interviewed Pino at the Hidalgo port of entry where she admitted she was a “body carrier” for the illegal narcotic. She told officers that, in exchange for smuggling the opioid into the U.S., she received “a discount on a body enhancement procedures” and retained 30 of the nearly 2,000 pills. The complaint did not specify what kind of discounted plastic surgery she was promised. It only stated that Pino told HSI special agents she was supposed to deliver the majority of the pills to an unidentified taxi driver in nearby McAllen.
On August 28, HSI agents in McAllen submitted the pills to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Crime Lab for analysis. DPS testing confirmed the nearly 2,000 pills, weighing approximately 233,50 grams, contained fentanyl, according to the court documents.
Subsequently, federal prosecutors charged Pino with knowingly and unlawfully conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute the controlled substance. However, on Monday, Pino pleaded guilty to one of the two federal drug charges during a re-arraignment hearing before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez in the Southern District of Texas. As part of an agreement, Pino pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, according to the Monitor. The government agreed to dismiss the drug conspiracy charge.
Pino will remain free on a $50,000 bond pending her sentencing hearing when she could receive from five to 4o years in federal prison. She is expected to next appear in court on April 25.