Valley felon headed back to prison for alien smuggling and firearms
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
McALLEN, Texas – A 46-year-old Edinburg resident has been ordered to federal prison for conspiring to harbor illegal aliens and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Noe Garza pleaded guilty Nov. 2, 2020.
Today, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez ordered Garza to serve a total of 63 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court heard additional information related to his criminal record to include prior convictions for aggravated assault and aggravated robbery. In handing down the sentence, Judge Alvarez noted Garza had been breaking the law since he was 17. She added that she was particularly troubled Garza committed these crimes while having a pending alien transportation case from 2016 and failed to appear for sentencing.
On Feb. 28, 2020, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop on Garza, but he fled the scene. Authorities soon apprehended him, at which time he admitted to being the caretaker of a stash house in Edinburg and helping coordinate transportation of illegal aliens further north. A search of the residence revealed five illegal aliens and two firearms. Law enforcement also found an additional firearm in the area of the traffic stop. Garza took ownership of all three firearms.
As a previously convicted felon, federal law prohibits him of possessing firearms or ammunition.
He has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the future.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Edinburg Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Alexis Garcia prosecuted the case.
Updated March 24, 2021