McALLEN, Texas – A federal jury has convicted a 35-year-old U.S. citizen residing in Monterrey, Mexico, for his part in smuggling two kilograms of cocaine and six kilograms of meth, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
They deliberated for approximately 45 minutes following a four-day trial before returning a guilty verdict against Nestor Alan Garcia on all six counts as charged.
According to the testimony, Garcia attempted to enter the Hidalgo Port of Entry in a taxi on May 13. He claimed he was going to a party in McAllen and had a box of “pulparindo” candy, puppies and various meat products. Authorities referred Garcia to secondary inspection. There, a search of the box of candy revealed approximately 6.2 kilograms of meth and 2.08 kilograms of cocaine.
Law enforcement testified Garcia had attempted to hide the narcotics in a box of candy and later lied when he claimed he did not know how the drugs had been placed in the box or came into his custody. He coordinated the smuggling of the narcotics with his mother for days ahead of the smuggling event at the Hidalgo Port of Entry.
The defense attempted to convince the jury Garcia had no knowledge of the drugs and was simply doing a favor for his mother. The jury did not believe those claims and found him guilty as charged.
Sentencing has been set for Dec. 8 before U.S. District Judge Randy Crane. Garcia faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison and a possible $10 million maximum fine.
He has been and will remain in custody pending sentencing.
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eliza Carmen Rodriguez and Lee Fry prosecuted the case.