Hunt is on for female fugitive accused of smuggling 15 pounds of meth
The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force is searching for a woman who was found to be hiding more than 15 pounds of methamphetamine during a traffic stop.
Police found the drugs hidden in Erika Sandoval's vehicle. She later admitted to the crime but about a year ago, while out on bond, she was able to escape.
It all started in July of 2014, when a Round Rock Police Officer spotted Sandoval driving along I-35. He stopped her for a traffic violation, but his K9 found a lot more.
“Approximately 16 pounds of what was later to be determined to be methamphetamine,” said Hector Gomez, supervisory U.S. Marshal.
The drugs were hidden in the car's oil pan, and authorities believe this wasn't originally her idea.
“What certainly has us in a bit of a quandary is this is her first offense, essentially, and she was clearly serving as a mule,” Gomez said.
Sandoval later pled guilty to the crime and was out on bond awaiting her sentencing. In January of 2015, it was time to face justice.
“She failed to appear for a scheduled sentencing before the united states district court here in Austin”, Gomez said.
At that point law enforcement lost track of her. They suspect she could be in Georgia, Mexico or Central Texas.
“If she was driving through Round Rock on I-35 her destination was either Round Rock or points beyond to the north of Round Rock,” Gomez said.
Sandoval is currently 22 years old. She is from Mexico and is fluent in English and Spanish.
“This is not a case or a charge that is going to go away, this will be haunting her until she is apprehended and ultimately held to account for the federal charges that are standing here in Austin,” Gomez said.
If you have any information on her whereabouts call the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force tip line at 512-800-4213.