California truck-Driver pleads guilty to federal cocaine trafficking Offense
ALBUQUERQUE -- This morning, Andres Garcia-Garcia, 30, a resident of Apple Valley, California, entered a guilty plea to an indictment charging him with possession of more than five kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute before Chief United States Magistrate Judge Richard L. Puglisi under a plea agreement with the United States Attorney's Office. Garcia-Garcia, who has been detained since his arrest on March 27, 2010, will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled. At sentencing, Garcia-Garcia faces a minimum ten years to a maximum life imprisonment to be followed by a minimum five-year term of supervised release.
United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Garcia-Garcia was arrested on March 27, 2010 at the New Mexico Motor Transportation Police Division's (NMMTPD) Gallup Port of Entry on Interstate 40 after NMMTPD officers found 52 kilograms of cocaine concealed in the tractor-trailer that Garcia-Garcia was driving. According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, on the afternoon of March 27, 2010, Garcia-Garcia's tractor trailer was randomly flagged for inspection. While inspecting the undercarriage of the tractor-trailer, an NMMTPD inspector that the floor of the sleeper cab area had been lowered and requested assistance from an NMMTPD officer. An inspection of the sleeper cab area revealed weld marks in the bunk of the sleeper and what appeared to be a compartment under the sleeper. After obtaining Garcia- Garcia's consent to a search of the tractor-trailer, NMMTPD officers located a hinged door in the sleeper area, and, after opening the door, observed a compartment containing grey duct taped bundles. Fifty-two bundles were removed from the compartment and the contents tested positive for cocaine and weighed 114.4 pounds, or 52 kilograms.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the NMMTPD, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rhonda P. Backinoff.