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May 1, 2009

LAREDO MEN SENTENCED FOR NARCOTICS TRAFFICKING AND MONEY LAUNDERING

(LAREDO, Texas) – Juan Roman Garcia Jr., 40, and Adrian Serna, 29, both of Laredo, have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for their roles in narcotics trafficking and money laundering conspiracies, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.

U.S. District Judge George P. Kazen sentenced Garcia and Serna to 192 and 100 months imprisonment, respectively. Garcia will serve five years of supervised release following completion of his prison term, while Serna will serve 10 years. Judge Kazen also ordered Garcia forfeit his interest in a residential property located on the 3100 block of Fair Oaks Court in Laredo, currently valued at approximately $500,000, because Garcia used that property to facilitate the crimes for which he was convicted and paid for it partly with the proceeds of his narcotics trafficking.   

At each of his respective guilty plea hearings, both Garcia and Serna admitted to being involved with each other and others in transporting narcotics and large amounts of United States currency between Aug. 1, 2002, through July 31, 2007 - the date the indictment was returned against them.

On Feb. 11, 2007, agents seized approximately 320 kilograms of marijuana from an abandoned vehicle in San Antonio, Texas, and later seized 60 kilograms of cocaine from a residence in Laredo on June 2, 2007. Garcia and Serna’s illegal activities were also represented in part by three seizures of large amounts of U.S. currency by law enforcement. On Sept. 3, 2006, officers found and seized $486,210 in currency in the toolbox of a pickup truck Garcia was driving near Dallas, Texas. A second seizure was made March 6, 2007, when officers found and seized $73,710 in the toolbox of a pickup truck Serna was driving near Natalia, Texas. Finally, on April 22, 2007, officers found and seized $13,485 inside boots Garcia was wearing and in compartments inside a pickup truck he was driving near Waco, Texas. The money was intended to be transported from the United States to Mexico had it not been intercepted by law enforcement and was intended for use in the unlawful activity of the manufacturing, importation, sale and distribution of controlled substances.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Arthur R. Jones.

 

 

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