Media Advisory
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2006

Direct Link to Mexican Source of
Drug Supply Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison

NOV 7 -- LAREDO, Texas – Humberto Garcia, also known as “Beto,” 39, of Laredo, will be serving 30 years in federal prison for his role as a leader in an extensive marihuana distribution organization, U.S. Attorney Don DeGabrielle announced today.

Garcia was convicted of federal drug trafficking offenses on May 19, 2006,  following a four-day trial.  During the trial, evidence proved that between May 2000 and August 2003,  ten tractor trailers, each carrying loads of marijuana – totaling 20,000 pounds -- were intercepted at either the IH-35 Checkpoint or the Highway 359 Checkpoint.  Over the years, a pattern emerged revealing that each and every driver of the load vehicle was somehow connected to Oscar Palacios,  who owned a trucking company named Consumer Products.  Years of dogged investigation ultimately proved that Palacios hired tractor trailer drivers to transport bulk quantities of marihuana to Dallas.  The investigation also identified the co-conspirators who were supplying Palacios with the marihuana to be transported.  One of these co-conspirators was Humberto Garcia. 

The evidence proved Garcia was directly linked to the source of supply of the narcotics in Mexico.  Although Garcia was never caught with any narcotics, the evidence presented at trial revealed an elaborate scheme behind this huge distribution cell.   To date, 21 defendants, including Oscar Palacios, have been convicted as a result of this OCDETF investigation dubbed “Operation Scalebreakers.” 

On Oct. 17, 2006, Fidel Torres, a driver for the organization with two prior narcotics convictions, was sentenced to 18 ½ years for his involvement in this drug trafficking organization.  Fifteen other defendants were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 46 to 170 months without parole.  Five other defendants are pending sentencing. 

The investigation leading to the charges against Garcia and others was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Marina Garcia Marmolejo.