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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Colorado

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 7, 2019

Bible-Wielding Drug Dealer Found Guilty Of Federal Gun And Drug Charges

Defendant now faces mandatory minimum 15 year federal prison sentence

DENVER – Miguel Antonio Garcia, age 40, of Denver, was found guilty yesterday of federal drug and gun crimes following a three-day trial before U.S. District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore, U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn and ATF Denver Special Agent Debbie Livingston announced.  Garcia appeared at the trial in custody and was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service at the trial’s conclusion.

Garcia was first charged by criminal complaint on July 13, 2018, and was subsequently charged by indictment on July 26, 2018.  A superseding indictment was filed on January 10, 2019.  On February 6, 2019, he was found guilty, following a three-day jury trial, of Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition by a Prohibited Person, Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime.  The jury deliberated for an hour and a half before returning its verdicts. 

According to court documents, as well as facts presented during trial, on July 11, 2018, an individual called 911 claiming Garcia, who was walking the streets of Denver with a backpack and a bible, had asked him for a drink.  The 911 caller claimed he invited the defendant up to his apartment and gave him some water when the defendant pulled a gun from inside his waistband, and another from inside a bible case.  The defendant then fled the scene when the individual called 911.  Within minutes, the defendant was located on the same block carrying a bible, but without the backpack or the two guns. 

Soon thereafter, the backpack was recovered under a nearby tree.  It contained a loaded 10mm semi-automatic handgun, a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun, approximately 360 grams of methamphetamine, two scales, and several empty plastic baggies.  The backpack also contained a motel room key sleeve which matched a motel key found in Garcia’s pocket and the backplate of a cellphone which matched the phone in Garcia’s pocket.  Additionally, the bible Garcia had at the time of his arrest contained indentation marks on the cover and the case which matched the 10mm handgun in the backpack.

Garcia faces not less than 15 years, and up to life in federal prison.

This trial was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter McNeilly and Conor Flanigan.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Jeff Dorschner Spokesman, Public Affairs Officer U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado 303-454-0243 direct; 303-454-0400 fax
Press Release Number: 
CASE NUMBER: 18-cr-00363
Updated February 7, 2019