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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cocaine Importing Conspiracy Lands Mexican National Five-Year Prison Term

McALLEN, Texas - Mexican national Ricardo Garza-Ramirez, 55, has been ordered to prison for five years following his conviction of conspiracy to import cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Garza-Ramirez pleaded guilty Sept. 3, 2014, on the day he was set to begin trial. 

Today, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Garza-Ramirez a total of 60 months in federal prison. A legal permanent resident, he is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison.

On June 17, 2014, Garza-Ramirez drove a BMW 3Series loaded with 15 kilograms of cocaine from Mexico into the U.S. through the Pharr Port of Entry. Unknown men placed the BMW under Garza-Ramirez’s name and instructed him to cross the vehicle into the country. At the time of his arrest, Garza-Ramirez admitted to crossing the vehicle in this fashion approximately seven or eight times.

Although he denied initially knowing the vehicle contained drugs, at the time of his plea, Garza-Ramirez admitted he knew or at least suspected the vehicle was loaded with some type of controlled substance.

Garza-Ramirez will remain in custody will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The investigation was conducted by Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kristen J. Rees and David A. Lindenmuth prosecuted the case.

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Updated April 30, 2015