Fugitive narcotics trafficker apprehended
BROWNSVILLE, TS (STL.News) A 33-year-old Brownsville resident has been taken into custody after being on the run from law enforcement for the past year, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Authorities found William Garcia allegedly living illegally in Mexico April 21. He is expected to make his initial appearance today at 9 a.m. in Brownsville before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ignacia Torteya III.
Garcia is charged in a nine-count indictment unsealed today with conspiracy and possessing with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin, money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. Garcia allegedly operated a drug trafficking conspiracy which moved cocaine and heroin from Mexico into the United States since 2016. Garcia is also accused of returning the illegal drug proceeds from the sale of heroin and cocaine back to Mexico, according to the charges.
The indictment also alleges Garcia used the United States banking system to collect his drug money.
If convicted, Garcia is up to life in prison and up to a $10 million possible fine.
Homeland Security Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration and IRS-Criminal Investigation conducted the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation La Camelia. Customs and Border Protection and Cameron County District Attorney’s Office also provided assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Betancourt is prosecuting the case.
OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found on the Department of Justice’s OCDETF webpage.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.