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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

Jan. 3, 2012

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

Record Marijuana Seizure Lands Alamo Man 12-Year Prison Term

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Hector Garza Martinez, 44, of Alamo, Texas, has been sentenced to 145 months in federal prison without parole for possession with intent to distribute more than 5000 kilograms of marijuana, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. The load was the largest single seizure of marijuana at the Falfurrias checkpoint in 2011 and the largest single marijuana seizure processed by the Corpus Christi Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2011.

In July 2011, Martinez arrived at the Falfurrias checkpoint driving a tractor trailer. A routine K-9 exam resulted in an alert prompting Border Patrol agents to refer Martinez and his vehicle to secondary for further inspection. A detailed inspection resulted in the discovery of 470 bundles wrapped in cellophane concealed within a load of cotton seed in the trailer which tested positive for marijuana. At the time of the seizure, law enforcement officials estimated the marijuana had a value of approximately $9.5 million. Martinez pleaded guilty Oct. 6, 2011,

Today, United States District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos sentenced Martinez to 145 months in prison to be followed by a five-year-term of supervised release. In federal custody since his arrest, Martinez will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future.
 
The conviction stems from an investigation by the DEA and United States Border Patrol.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Watt.