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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 21, 2022

Edinburg man sentenced for “catching a case” of sex tourism with minor

McALLEN, Texas – A 23-year-old Edinburg man has been ordered to federal prison for engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor in Mexico, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Carlos Daniel Uribe-Garza pleaded guilty June 7, 2021, admitting to the crime and that it had resulted in a pregnancy.

Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane ordered him to serve a 121-month sentence. At the hearing, the court heard about Uribe-Garza’s repeated phone calls with the victim. During those conversations, he attempted to influence her not to cooperate with law enforcement and instructed her to send letters to the judge retracting her previous statements. Evidence was also presented that indicated Uribe-Garza was emotionally manipulative towards the victim and had associates confront her and her family at their residence. Judge Crane considered comments from the victim’s mother indicating how Uribe-Garza’s conduct was obsessive, manipulative and toxic. After considering all the evidence, the court determined Uribe-Garza engaged in the obstruction of justice.

Judge Crane also heard that Uribe-Garza had previously engaged in another illicit sexual relationship with a 16-year-old minor in 2019, which also resulted in a pregnancy. Uribe-Garza told that girl not to tell anyone of their relationship because he could “catch a case.” The court deemed him a repeat and dangerous sex offender against minors and imposed a sentencing enhancement.

In imposing the prison term, the court noted Uribe-Garza is predatory toward minors. Following his imprisonment, Uribe-Garza will serve five years on supervised release, during which time, he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children. He will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.

Uribe-Garza spoke at sentencing and told the court his only regret was attempting to bring the victim into the United States.

Uribe-Garza met the minor victim at her 15th birthday party in Reynosa, Mexico, and then began contacting her via social media. From December 2020 to February 2021, Uribe-Garza pursued a sexual relationship with the victim, traveling from Texas to Mexico on multiple occasions.

She became pregnant that February.

Uribe-Garza attempted to bring the minor into the United States at the Hidalgo Port of Entry on February 24, at which time authorities took him into custody. Uribe-Garza had disguised the victim as a male United States citizen by cutting her hair, dressing her in men’s clothing, and providing her with false documentation.

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

Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Devin V. Walker and Amy L. Greenbaum prosecuted the case, which was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section leads PSC, which marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and identifies and rescues victims. For more information about PSC, please visit DOJ’s PSC page. For more information about internet safety education, please visit the resources tab on that page.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated March 21, 2022