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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Mexican National Pleads Guilty to Federal Meth Trafficking and Money Laundering Charges

Plea Agreement Requires Imposition of 15 Year Prison Sentence

ALBUQUERQUE – Oscar Garcia, 46, a Mexican national illegally in the United States, pled guilty Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M. to methamphetamine trafficking and money laundering charges.  At the time he committed the crimes to which he pleaded guilty, Oscar Garcia was in Oklahoma state custody serving a prison sentence on an unrelated-drug trafficking conviction.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Oscar Garcia will be sentenced to 180 months in prison.  He will be deported after completing his prison sentence.

Oscar Garcia was charged together with co-defendants Leslie Frank Williams, 52, Andy Garcia, 43, and Domingo Rodriguez, 46, all of Deming, and Estella Aguilar, 44, of Tucson, Ariz., in a nine-count indictment filed in April 2016.  The indictment alleged that the five co-defendants conspired to distribute methamphetamine from July 2015 through April 2016.  It also charged Williams with distributing methamphetamine on four occasions between Jan 2015 and Sept. 2015; Williams and Rodriguez with distributing methamphetamine in Nov. 2015; and Rodriguez, Oscar Garcia and Andy Garcia with possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute in Jan. 2016.  The indictment also charged Rodriguez, Oscar Garcia and Aguilar with conspiring to commit money laundering offenses in Feb. 10, 2016; and Aguilar with committing a money laundering offense on Feb. 10, 2016.  According to the indictment, the crimes took place in Luna County, N.M.  The indictment included forfeiture allegations seeking forfeiture of $1,000,000 in drug proceeds to the United States.

On Oct. 7, 2016, Oscar Garcia pled guilty to a felony information charging him with conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute and money laundering.  In entering the guilty plea, Oscar Garcia admitted that from June 2015 through May 2016, he used a cell phone from his prison cell in Okla., to facilitate the distribution of approximately 4.5 kilograms of methamphetamine.  Oscar Garcia further admitted that from Feb. 8, 2016 to Feb. 10, 2016, he arranged for a person to travel from Ariz., to Deming to pick up drug proceeds and to deliver the money to a co-conspirator.  Oscar Garcia remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

To date, three other defendants have entered guilty pleas.  Andy Garcia pled guilty on Oct. 5, 2016.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Andy Garcia will be sentenced to ten years in prison.  Rodriguez entered a guilty plea on Sept. 13, 2016, and Williams entered a guilty plea on Sept. 20, 2016.  Sentencing hearings for these three defendants have yet to be scheduled. 

Aguilar has entered a plea of not guilty to the indictment.  Charges in indictments are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by the Deming office of Homeland Security Investigations and the Luna County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark A. Saltman and Dustin C. Segovia of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office are prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated October 11, 2016