Bond denied for reputed Starr County drug trafficker

2 months 3 weeks 6 days ago Monday, April 06 2020 Apr 6, 2020 April 06, 2020 11:41 AM April 06, 2020 in News - Local

Bond was denied Monday for a Rio Grande City man accused of destroying federal surveillance cameras. 

An order of detention pending trial was filed today by U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker. The order will keep Jose Luis Garcia in federal custody until his trial. 

Garcia is accused of destroying U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration cameras in 2019. 

The order states the judge found the weight of the evidence against Garcia to be strong and that no conditions would reasonably assure the defendant's appearance if released.

During the detention hearing last week, the defendant's attorney argued Garcia should be released based on the lack of criminal history with the exception of a misdemeanor over 20 years ago. The government attorneys called Garcia a "danger to the community". Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Profit disclosed Garcia threatened to turn a federal agent into “soup."

According to the criminal complaint, Garcia is considered to be a leader in the Garcia Drug Trafficking organization working in Starr County. 

Those statements were considered by the judge who included them into the order. A 2019 foiled drug trafficking attempt involving Garcia's brother, Juan Indalecio, is informally linked to the case, because it happened in the same property that the DEA had under video surveillance. Text messages were also considered by the judge. The threats found suggested a violent inclination against Border Patrol agents Garcia perceived to be interfering with drug trafficking activity. The threats also included the Starr County District Attorney Omar Escobar who was pursuing charges against his son, Jose Luis Garcia Jr., who at the time was accused in the murder of Chayse Olivarez. 

Profit said other charges are likely to follow. 

Garcia remains in federal custody. 


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