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Press Release

Bible-Wielding Drug Dealer Sentenced to 23 Years on Federal Gun and Drug Convictions

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado

DENVER – Miguel Antonio Garcia, age 40, of Denver, was sentenced to 280 months (23.3 years) in prison on May 10, 2019, by U.S. District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore, announced U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn and ATF Denver Special Agent in Charge David Booth.  Following the defendant’s prison term, he will serve an additional five years on supervised release.

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 that Garcia was walking the streets of Denver with a backpack and a bible and had asked the caller for a drink.  The 911 caller claimed he invited the defendant up to his apartment and gave him some water.  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 (0.79 pounds) 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.

“Dangerous drug dealers need to be removed from our community,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn.  “This defendant will now go to jail for the next twenty-three years, ensuring that he is off the streets and that our community is safer as a direct result.  I commend the hard work of the ATF, as well as our prosecutors in ensuring justice was achieved.”

“Garcia was a threat to the community, rewarding a stranger’s goodwill with a threat of violence,” said ATF Denver Special Agent in Charge David Booth.   “ATF will continue to use every resource available to pursue violent criminals and ensure our communities are safe.”

This matter was investigated by the ATF and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter McNeilly and Conor Flanigan.


CASE NUMBER: 18-cr-00363

Updated May 14, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses