Laredo Man Sentenced for Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine
LAREDO, Texas – A 30-year-old Laredo man has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Raul Garcia Jr. pleaded guilty Nov. 1, 2017.
Today, visiting U.S. Appellate Judge Kimberly Moore handed Garcia a 120-month sentence to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release.
On Oct. 26, 2015, authorities learned that Garcia was trying to hire someone to find transportation for a load of cocaine. Garcia had been moving up to 30 kilograms of cocaine per month and would pay $600 for each kilogram transported. Undercover agents posed as truck drivers to transport the cocaine. On Oct. 27, 2015, co-defendant Franklin E. Alberto-Hernandez, 29, a Honduran national illegally residing in Laredp, delivered approximately six kilograms of cocaine to the undercover agents.
On Dec. 21, 2015, in anticipation of a delivery of several kilograms of cocaine, law enforcement established surveillance of a Wal-Mart store in Laredo. Alberto-Hernandez handed an undercover agent a cardboard box found to contain four bundles wrapped in black tape and clear cellophane. The contents field tested positive for the properties of cocaine and weighed 4.5 kilograms. Garcia later admitted his involvement with coordinating this delivery of narcotics.
Garcia also admitted he was tasked with overseeing the delivery of multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine to Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. He was also responsible for picking up and transporting large amounts of U.S. currency in these cities and smuggling it into Mexico.
He also stated that before the agents had approached in October 2015, he was in the process of coordinating the delivery of five kilograms of cocaine and had stored an additional 10 kilograms at the home of Alberto-Hernandez until it could be picked up and transferred to another trafficker. On Jan. 19, 2016, law enforcement conducted a search at that residence and seized approximately 16.5 kilograms of cocaine.
Garcia has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Alberto-Hernandez also pleaded guilty for his role in the conspiracy and was previously sentenced to 77 months in prison.
The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Laredo Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bukiewicz is prosecuting the case.