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Nov.13, 2012

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Houstonian Convicted of Conspiring to Transport Marijuana

LAREDO, Texas – Roberto Garcia, 28, of Houston, has entered a plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute in excess of 100 kilograms of marijuana, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Garcia entered into a written plea agreement before U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker just a short time ago in Laredo. 

Between September and November 2011, Garcia drove a vehicle loaded with 100 to 200 pounds of marijuana from Roma to Laredo. Garcia stated, “I don’t mind driving,” and “I’ll get on the horse and mount it,” indicating he would transport the marijuana personally.  The marijuana was destined for distribution in Houston.

He also admitted that on Oct. 19, 2011, he was driving a gold Mercedes M50 SUV on Highway 83 when a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper attempted to pull him over for traffic violations. When the DPS trooper walked up to the vehicle, Garcia sped off and caused a three-car accident on Highway 83 at Pita Magana Road. Garcia abandoned the vehicle, which contained 14 bundles of marijuana, weighing 55.45 kilograms. Garcia then ran through a gas station and was picked up by a co-conspirator at which time a chase ensued. During this chase, Garcia opened the passenger-side door and fled into the brush.

Garcia faces a minimum of five and up to 40 years in prison as well as a possible $5 million dollar fine and a substantial money judgment. Sentencing will be before U.S. District Judge George P. Kazen on a date yet to be determined. 

This case is the result of a two-year investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration with the assistance of Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant United States Attorneys James Hepburn and Elizabeth Rabe are prosecuting the case.