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Press Release

Accused Dog Abuser Pleads Guilty to Federal Gun Charge

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

St. Louis, MO –Paul “Paco” Garcia, 40, of Barnhart, MO, pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Garrett appeared today before U.S. District Judge Catherin D. Perry who accepted his plea and set his sentencing date for April 24, 2020.

According to the plea agreement, law enforcement agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) and with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office began investigating Garcia in August of 2018 for trafficking in methamphetamine in an around Jefferson County.

On September 14, 2018, a Jefferson County police officer stopped Defendant for speeding near Highway MM at the Old Highway 21 interchange in Jefferson County, Missouri.  The officer asked Garcia to step out of the vehicle and subsequently observed Garcia appearing to reach for a baseball bat located in the car.  When officers searched the area of car where Defendant was previously seen reaching, and they located a silver baseball bat and a black firearm in the glove compartment.  The firearm was a black, Rock Island Armory .38 SPL revolver with wood grips.  A search of the car revealed a small black bag containing metal knuckles and additional .38 caliber bullets. Garcia admitted he kept the revolver in his glove box for protection from being robbed in connection with his methamphetamine trafficking activities

Garcia faces a penalty up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 or both.  In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case is being investigated by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.  Assistant United States Attorney Lisa Yemm is handling this case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Garcia remains charged in Jefferson County by the State of Missouri with Animal Abuse in the Second Degree and Armed Criminal Action in connection with throwing a Dachshund from his car window after binding its muzzle and legs with tape in February of 2019.  Those charges remain merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.  That case is being investigated by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and prosecuted by the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Updated January 7, 2020

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime