News and Press Releases

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Nov. 18, 2009


(LAREDO, Texas) - Martha Silvia Barba De Garza, a resident alien residing in Laredo, has been sentenced to almost 20 years in federal prison for importation and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. U.S. District Court Judge Micaela Alvarez sentenced De Garza to 235 months to be followed by a five-year-term of supervised release at a hearing held this morning in Laredo.

De Garza, 48, was arrested after four kilograms of methamphetamine were found in the battery of the car she drove from Mexico into the United States on June 20, 2009. De Garza attempted to enter the United States via the Lincoln Juarez International Bridge II in Laredo while driving a Ford Freestyle. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers discovered six bundles of methamphetamine hidden inside the vehicle’s battery.

De Garza was charged in a three-count indictment with conspiracy, possession and importation. On Aug. 26, 2009, a jury found De Garza guilty of two counts - possession with intent to distribute and importation of a Schedule II controlled substance. De Garza has been in custody without bond since her arrest and will remain in custody pending to transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future to serve her sentence. De Garza is also subject to deportation upon her release from prison.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Assistant United States Attorney Michael C. Elliott prosecuted the case.



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