Corpus Christi Man Sentenced For Meth Trafficking
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Jose Manuel Garcia, 38, of Corpus Christi, has been sent to federal prison for his involvement in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Garcia and co-defendant Alvaro Villarreal, 57, also of Corpus Christi, pleaded guilty Oct. 23, 2012.
Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, who accepted the pleas, ordered Garcia to serve a total of 168 months of imprisonment to be followed by a five-year-term of supervised release. At the sentencing hearing, the court learned Garcia was an associate of the Mexican Mafia prison gang and that he had two felony federal convictions for illegal entry after deportation.
Villarreal will be sentenced June 14, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.
On July 30, 2012, agents from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) received information that Garcia was in possession of approximately two pounds of methamphetamine and was attempting to sell the substance for $32,000. DEA agents contacted Garcia in an attempt to negotiate a purchase price for the narcotics. While conducting surveillance, agents followed Garcia to a residence in Corpus Christi where Garcia met with Villarreal. Garcia left the residence followed by Villarreal.
As Villarreal left the residence, officers conducted a traffic stop at which time Villarreal told DEA agents the methamphetamine was located inside his residence. Villarreal also told agents someone from Matamoros, Mexico, had delivered the narcotics to Villarreal and that he was attempting to sell the narcotics to Garcia. He, in turn, was trying to sell the narcotics to DEA agents. During a search of Villarreal’s residence, agents located a shoe box containing 1.26 kilograms of methamphetamine with a purity level of 97.6%.
DEA agents contacted Garcia again and set up a meeting at Garcia’s residence so that agents could give Garcia the buy money. As Garcia drove towards his residence a traffic stop was conducted and he was arrested. Garcia told agents he was fully aware of the methamphetamine that was located in Villarreal’s residence. Garcia stated he was acting as a broker for the narcotics and that his intentions were to steal the methamphetamine from Villarreal, sell the substance and travel back to Mexico.
The investigation leading to the criminal charges was conducted in Corpus Christi lead by DEA and the Corpus Christi Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Hugo R. Martinez.