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North Texas man sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for transporting 112 kilograms of marijuana

LUBBOCK, Texas – A north Texas man was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to 46 months in federal prison.

Mark Dean Garrison, 48, of Denison, Texas, pleaded guilty in December 2012 to one count of possession with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana.

This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. This case was investigated by the Texas Department of Public Service, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

According to documents filed in the case, in late October 2012, a trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety stopped a pickup truck, owned and driven by Garrison, for a traffic violation on Interstate 20 near Abilene, Texas. Co-defendant Brian Julian Gallardo, 22 of Sherman,, Texas, was the only passenger in the truck, which was carrying several spools of barbed wire. After Garrison consented to a search of the truck, one of the troopers opened the inside of one of the spools of wire and detected the odor of marijuana. Further investigation revealed that the spools of wire contained 229 bricks of marijuana that weighed about 112 kilograms (247 pounds). Both Garrison and Gallardo were arrested and have been in custody since that time.

Gallardo pleaded guilty to the same offense and is scheduled to be sentenced March 29. He faces a statutory penalty of not less than five or more than 40 years in federal prison, and a $5 million fine.

Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise Williams, Northern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.