McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Two Mexican men have been convicted of importing nearly $1 million worth of liquid meth across the border concealed in a secret truck compartment, the Justice Department announced.

Noe Jesus Martinez-Montelongo, 35, and Fidel Rodriguez-Saldana, 34, face life in prison after a federal jury in Laredo, Texas, on Wednesday took just 10 minutes of deliberations before returning guilty verdicts against them, U.S. Attorney Alamdar Hamdani said.

The convictions come as drug cartels have been coming up with increasingly creative methods to try to get illegal drugs over the border from Mexico. In the past year, other methods have included filling tequila bottles with liquid meth and putting it into gas tanks.

Martinez and Saldana entered the Columbia Solidarity International Bridge from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, on Nov. 28, 2022, driving a tractor-trailer without a load. U.S. Customs and Border Protection sent them to a secondary inspection where a canine unit alerted officers to the tractor.

Using a scope, officers discovered a secret compartment in each diesel tank of the commercial truck that had what tested positive for liquid meth, Hamdani said.

A total of 910 pounds of liquid meth — which filled 22 buckets — was seized from the truck worth $1 million, he said.

During the three-day trial in Laredo, Martinez and Saldana said they were unaware of the liquid meth in the truck compartment.

Sentencing will take place at a later date by U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana.

Sandra Sanchez can be reached at