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Man Disappears Before Conviction Of Drug Trafficking

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MCALLEN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – A federal jury convicted a South Texas man on drug trafficking charges, but the defendant was nowhere to be found to hear the verdict.

Federal prosecutors say 35-year-old Edgar Hinojosa of Brownsville was convicted of conspiracy and cocaine possession charges Monday. They also said, however, that he hadn’t appeared in court since Thursday, the final day of testimony.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest. Hinojosa had been free on a $100,000 bond, for which he had deposited $5,000.

Prosecutors allege Hinojosa was a former Gulf cartel bodyguard turned cocaine trafficker. They said he was responsible for moving tons of cocaine north from the border into the U.S.

Hinojosa was arrested in February, three years after one of his loads was intercepted at an inland Border Patrol checkpoint.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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