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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 27, 2017

Ohio Man Admits Participating in Texas to Erie Cocaine Distribution Scheme

Erie, Pa. -A former resident of Akron, Ohio, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal drug laws, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.

Oscar Mata Garcia, 28, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from June 2013 through February 2015, Mata Garcia engaged in a conspiracy with eighteen co-defendants to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine. The Court was advised that Mata Garcia’s specific role in the conspiracy was to assist in driving vehicles to the Houston, Texas area to pick up loads of cocaine and then to transport the cocaine to Erie, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, with the cocaine concealed in hidden compartments. According to information provided to the Court, on November 1, 2014, Mata Garcia was in one of the load vehicles with another co-conspirator when they were stopped by the Arkansas State Police while traveling east near milepost 253 on Interstate 40. The Court was advised that Mata Garcia and his co-conspirator had just traveled to the Houston area to pick up a load of cocaine destined for delivery to Erie and elsewhere. The Court was further advised that a search warrant was executed on the vehicle and that individually wrapped packages of cocaine were located in a hidden compartment in the vehicle. The packages were discovered to contain more than five kilograms of cocaine.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for May 22, 2017. The law provides for a total sentence of life in prison, a fine of $4,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Marshall J. Piccinini is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Pennsylvania State Police, U.S. Border Patrol, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General Organized Crime Section, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, and the Arkansas State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Mata Garcia.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated January 27, 2017