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Contraband
11/05/2012

Mexican national sentenced to more than 6 years in federal prison for marijuana trafficking and bond jumping

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A Mexican national was sentenced Monday to six years and three months in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, and for bond jumping (failure to appear as required), announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas.

Juan Ramon Garza, a 40-year-old resident alien of Brownsville appeared before U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen who sentenced him Nov. 5 to 63 months in federal prison for the drug conviction, and 60 months for bond jumping. Judge Hanen also ordered that 12 months of the 60-month term be served consecutively to the 63-month sentence. The judge’s orders dictate that Garza must serve 75 months in federal prison.

According to court documents, Garza pleaded guilty June 26 to the drug charges. The government’s evidence indicated that on Oct. 22, 2009, special agents assigned to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) conducted surveillance at a residence on the 400 block of Naranjal in Brownsville. The special agents received consent to search the residence. During their search, they discovered large black trash bags that contained bundles of marijuana totaling 125.25 kilograms (276 pounds). When Garza returned home, he admitted he was to be paid money for storing the marijuana in the garage.

On Nov. 4, 2009, Garza was released on a $100,000 bond with a $3,000 deposit. However, on Jan. 5, 2010, Garza failed to appear for court and a warrant was issued. He remained a fugitive until he was arrested by the U.S. Marshal Service (USMS) April 3, 2012.

This case was investigated by officers with HIDTA, HSI and USMS.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elena Llanos-Salinas, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.