CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) - A South Texas man has been sentenced to eight years in prison for using his furniture store and trucking company to smuggle drugs to Georgia and South Carolina. A federal judge in Corpus Christi on Tuesday sentenced Jose Francisco Serna of Mission. He pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine. Serna was arrested last August after being a fugitive in Mexico for several years.
Prosecutors say Serna formerly owned a furniture store in McAllen and used the business to launder money. His trucking company hauled cocaine from Mexico and cash between Mission and the Atlanta area for further drug distribution. Serna must also pay a $5,000 fine and forfeit his interest in a South Texas ranch.