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Authorities arrest 19 members of cartel operation in Texas

September 16, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Authorities arrest 19 members of cartel operation in Texas

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Federal and state authorities have disrupted a cartel operation in the Texas arresting over a dozen co-conspirators in the interim.

Federal agents and local sheriff’s deputies apprehended vehicles, cash, and 61 pounds of narcotics during a raid of three Texas homes on September 7th. At least one local business owner was arrested.

The raids by Homeland Security Investigations agents and Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office deputies concluded a year-long investigation into a suspected drug distribution cartel operation.

As JammedUp reported, federal authorities arrested 28-year-old Esteban Garcia, Jr., a suspected member of a Mexican drug cartel living in Lubbock, Texas last week.

Federal prosecutors have charged Esteban Garcia along with 19 co-conspirators on a litany of drug trafficking offenses linked to the cartel operation.

During the raid, 61 pounds of drugs were confiscated along with $38,000 in cash, two cars, three boats, one jet ski, and two motorcycles. At least two of the three raided residences were linked to Garcia.

Garcia, who appeared for a detention hearing on Wednesday remains in the custody of the Lubbock County Jail on a $100,000 bond, Breitbart Texas reported.

The suspect faces charges of possession and attempt to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute, and aiding and abetting. If found guilty, Garcia faces between 10 years and life behind bars.

His lawyer said he anticipates that his client to will make bail and will stay with his sister, Melissa Garcia. She has agreed to serve as a third-party custodian and would guarantee his compliance with the conditions of a bond agreement. Additionally, he has consented to surrender his passport and will be required to wear a GPS monitor.

Garcia, who owns a transportation company, will be forced to find other employment according to his bond conditions. He will also be required to restrict his travel to the Northern and Western Districts of Texas which have authority over his case. He is also forbidden from communicating with any of the other 19 co-conspirators.

His attorney dismissed any relationship between his client and Mexican drug cartels, claiming that he believes the indictment stemmed from a wiretap that took place “years ago.”

According to a report released by the Avalanche-Journal, Garcia reportedly has a prior criminal record for drug-related offenses in San Antonio. The story also alleges that he may have connections to a Texas-based gang.

Additionally, other co-conspirators arrested in the case are known members of a drug cartel, with the responsibility of transporting large quantities of cocaine and heroine into the U.S.

Although court documents do not indicate which Mexican drug cartel the members are associated with, or define the individual role that Garcia played within the criminal organization. An annual report published by the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration indicates the Lubbock area is a region of Texas under the control the Sinaloa Federation Cartel led by jailed drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman and his long-time partner Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada.

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