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Suspected member of Mexican drug cartel arrested living in Texas

September 12, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Suspected member of Mexican drug cartel arrested living in Texas

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U.S. Marshals arrested an alleged member of a Mexican drug cartel, who was living in Lubbock, Texas, federal drug trafficking offenses.

On Thursday, Esteban Garcia was arrested by the U.S. Marshal’s Service and Homeland Security Investigations on a number drug trafficking charges filed out of the Western District of Texas in El Paso, according to court records.

During a court appearance on Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge D. Gordon Bryant ordered the suspect held without bond until his detention hearing that is scheduled for sometime next week, KCBD reported.

Garcia’s charges stem from a sealed indictment filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in El Paso issued by a grand jury on August 10th and ordered sealed under the order of U.S. District Judge David Briones. The case reportedly has at least nine defendants, each of whom faces multiple drug conspiracy, trafficking, and other cartel-related charges.

KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Although the charges against Garcia remain sealed, additional charges filed against other defendants indicate the group was part of a Mexican drug organization and was tasked with the responsibility of transporting large shipments of cocaine and heroin into the United States.

However, court documents do not indicate which Mexican drug cartel the members were associated with, nor do they define the individual role that Garcia played within the criminal organization.

According to a study published by the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Lubbock area is a region of Texas under the control the Sinaloa Federation Cartel led by imprisoned drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman and his long-time partner Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada.

The drug smuggling corridors around the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez sits on the border directly south of El Paso and affords cartel operators large rural areas east and west of the city with a minimum presence of U.S. Border Patrol. According to DEA, El Paso continues to be affected by cartel-linked activity, with organizations such as Juarez Cartel, the Sinaloa Cartel, and the Beltran Leyva Cartel operating in the area.

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