BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) A former reserve law enforcement officer in South Texas who was caught hauling drugs has been sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison.

A federal judge in Brownsville on Monday sentenced 55-year-old Mercedes Perez of Bishop.

A jury in February convicted the ex-reserve officer for the Nueces County Constables Office of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin. Perez also was convicted of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin.

Perez claimed he was driving to a dental appointment in Mexico when he was stopped last October at an international bridge in Brownsville. Officers found nearly 20 pounds of bundled heroin and cocaine in the vehicle.