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July 13, 2023Corpus Christi, TX, United StatesNarcotics

HSI Corpus Christi, CBP investigation results in 12-year prison sentence for drug trafficker

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A Texas man with prior convictions for drug trafficking was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison on July 11 for cocaine trafficking following an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Corpus Christi and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Ascencion Garza Jr., a 64-year-old resident of Hebbronville, Texas, was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to 12 years in federal prison to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute approximately 16 kilograms of cocaine. Garza pleaded guilty to the charges on January 10.

On Sept. 7, 2022, Garza drove his truck into the primary inspection lane of a U.S. Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint located near Falfurrias, Texas. During a search of his vehicle, authorities discovered 15 bricks of cocaine in concealed compartments within the rear quarter-panels of his truck. The drugs weighed approximately 16 kilograms with an estimated street value of more than $1.1 million.

At the hearing, the court heard additional arguments regarding Garza’s multiple prior federal drug trafficking convictions. In handing down the sentence, the court noted the quantity of drugs involved and that Garza had not been deterred from continuing to traffic narcotics despite his prior convictions.

Garza will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tyler Foster prosecuted the case.

For more news and information on HSI’s efforts to aggressively investigate illicit drug trafficking and smuggling in Southeast Texas, follow @HSIHouston.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.