ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Two Mexican drug traffickers were sentenced Friday for their roles in a cocaine conspiracy. The sentence is the result of an extensive investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Genaro Torres, 58, formerly of Laredo, Texas, and Maria E. Garcia, 64, formerly of Houston, Texas, were both sentenced by U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer in Rochester.
Torres, who was convicted of conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In addition, Torres forfeited $750,000 in U.S. currency, which he admitted constituted or derived from proceeds he obtained as a result of his illegal drug activity.
Garcia, who was convicted of conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, was sentenced to four years in prison by Judge Larimer.
According to court documents, the defendants were involved with a group of individuals that distributed over 150 kilograms of cocaine from Mexico in the United States between 1991 and 2008. During the course of the conspiracy, cocaine was transported to, and distributed in, Rochester by members of the conspiracy. Cocaine was also provided to Houston, Chicago, New York, Atlanta and the New England region of the country.
Since the early 1990s, Torres was involved in transporting quantities of cocaine across the Mexican-Texas border in the area of Laredo and thereafter distributing the cocaine. Torres was found by the court to have acted as a manager or supervisor in this extensive drug distribution activity. Between 2000 and 2008, Torres arranged at times for the distribution of multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine to individuals in Houston.
As for Maria Garcia, by early 2000, this defendant was selling cocaine in Houston after being supplied by Torres. Between February and April 2000, Torres arranged the delivery of over 50 kilograms of cocaine in Houston to Garcia or her customers. Torres and Garcia are Mexican citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States. It is anticipated that both Torres and Garcia will be deported by ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations upon the completion of their sentences.
"It's often said that crime doesn't pay and in this case that is especially true," said U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr., Western District of New York. "The hard work of our law enforcement partners and prosecutors has led to the take down of a major drug conspiracy. But in addition, we have literally taken the profit out of this particular crime syndicate. The money being forfeited will now be put to a much more positive use including continued crime fighting efforts."
HSI and the DEA were assisted in the investigation by the Rochester Police Department and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank H. Sherman, Western District of New York, prosecuted this case on behalf of the U.S. government.