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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 20, 2018

Career Navy Commander Pleads Guilty to 18-Month Conspiracy to Dispense, Distribute and Deliver Controlled Substances Using Dark Web

Assistant U. S. Attorney Sherri Walker Hobson (619) 961-0287

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – July 20, 2018

SAN DIEGO –   U.S. Navy Commander Adolph Garza, a 23-year veteran, pleaded guilty in federal court today to drug charges, admitting that he conspired to distribute, deliver and dispense controlled substances by means of the internet.

Garza, a San Diego resident, admitted using the Dark Web to make multiple purchases of various controlled substances, including ecstasy, ketamine, cocaine, amphetamine and other controlled substances over an 18-month period, beginning on August 12, 2016 and continuing up to March 7, 2018.

According to his plea agreement, Garza used multiple dark web market places to order controlled substances for distribution in San Diego and beyond. In his plea agreement, Garza admitted that on at least 15 occasions, the drugs he ordered were the same ones seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at airports in San Francisco, New York and Chicago; and by U.S. Postal Inspectors and Homeland Security Investigations agents in San Diego.

On March 7, 2018, Garza was arrested by U.S. Postal Inspectors, Special Agents with Homeland Security Investigations, and Special Agents with Naval Criminal Investigative Service following a search warrant for his San Diego condominium. Inside his residence, agents found sealers, packaging and mailing materials, and concealment mailing methods (including DVD cases).  Federal agents also seized MDMA, cocaine, ketamine, amphetamine and other controlled substances, as Garza admitted today in federal court.

According to court records, Garza also distributed controlled substances, including powder and tablet forms of MDMA and ketamine, by mailing multiple packages to individuals in Texas. 

Garza is scheduled to be sentenced before U.S. District Judge Cynthia Bashant on December 10, 2018 at 9 a.m.

DEFENDANT                                               Case Number 18-cr-1745                             

Adolph Garza                                                 Age: 54           San Diego, California

SUMMARY OF CHARGES

Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances by Internet

Maximum penalty: 20 years’ imprisonment and $500,000 fine

INVESTIGATING AGENCIES

U.S. Postal Inspection Service

Homeland Security Investigations

Naval Criminal Investigative Service

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

San Diego Police Department

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
CAS18-0720-Garza
Updated July 20, 2018