Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012 6:22 pm | Updated: 6:30 pm, Fri Oct 26, 2012.
Jared Taylor, Twitter: @jaredataylor The Monitor
McALLEN - A federal judge sent to prison a Las Vegas man convicted of smuggling powerful animal tranquilizers from Mexico used in an assisted suicide in Nuevo Progreso.
Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa sentenced Jeff George Ostfeld to six years in federal prison Wednesday, after he pleaded guilty to importation of a controlled substance.
But after the assisted suicide in Mexico, Hinojosa opted to follow sentencing guidelines for Ostfeld under a charge of voluntary manslaughter - not the drug charge.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested Ostfeld in May 2009 as he attempted to smuggle animal tranquilizers across the Progreso International Bridge.
The arrest came moments after Mexican police discovered the body of 32-year-old Jennifer Malone at a Nuevo Progreso motel.
Ostfeld shot video of Malone as she died, investigators said. He retrieved some of her personal effects and abandoned her body in the motel room.
Mexican investigators found an empty bottle of Barbithal and a book about depression beside the body of Malone, of Roseburg, Ore., according to Monitor archives. The same drug was found by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers as Ostfeld tried to return to the United States.
Ostfeld told ICE agents he had flown from Las Vegas to McAllen to buy animal tranquilizers in Nuevo Progreso for resale in the United States. The drug can sell for as little as $20 per bottle in Mexico, but can net as much as $5,000 north of the Rio Grande.