Jury convicts local man on cocaine charges
McALLEN, Texas – A federal jury has returned a guilty verdict against a 45-year-old Alton man for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
The jury deliberated for approximately six hours before convicting Rosbel Garcia following a one-day trial which included seven witnesses.
According to the testimony, authorities learned of a possible 20-kilogram cocaine transaction that would be occurring in the Houston area in January 2018.
At trial, the jury heard from Rene Ramos III who explained that he had been previously arrested in Houston while in possession of approximately 60 pounds of marijuana belonging to Garcia in 2012. He claimed that at the time of that arrest, he was also in possession of approximately $90,000 of Garcia’s drug trafficking proceeds.
In early January 2018, Ramos claimed Garcia contacted him and told him he had to begin working for him in order to reduce that drug debt. As part of that involvement, Ramos testified he directed his wife, Christy Leigh Wells, to deliver cocaine to individuals in Houston.
Testimony revealed Garcia traveled to Houston from the Rio Grande Valley in January 2018 along with Luby Janet Luna. Wells also testified and admitted she delivered 10 kilograms of cocaine to Luna and others Jan. 30, 2018.
The defense attempted to convince the jury that all involved were just cons who fabricated Garcia’s involvement in the scheme. The jury disagreed and found him guilty as charged.
Wells, 42, of Cypress, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine Nov. 28, 2018.
Luna, 33, of Mission, is a fugitive and a warrant remains outstanding for her arrest. Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to contact the United States Marshals at (956) 618-8025.
U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez presided over the trial and set sentencing for March 26 at 2 p.m. At that time, Garcia faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison as well as a possible $10 million fine.
Previously released on bond, Garcia was ordered into custody pending that hearing.
The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Roberto Lopez Jr. and M. Alexis Garcia prosecuted the case