Federal agents arrest Palmview couple on drug trafficking charges

1 year 2 weeks 2 days ago Saturday, February 15 2020 Feb 15, 2020 February 15, 2020 2:33 PM February 15, 2020 in News

Federal agents arrested a Palmview couple last week on drug trafficking charges.

Homeland Security Investigations, a division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, arrested Maria Trinidad Garcia, 45, of Palmview and her husband, George Enrique Vargas, 43, of Palmview.

They're linked to "an organization responsible for trafficking and importing large amounts of cocaine," according to federal court records.

A grand jury indicted Garcia on Jan. 30.

Homeland Security Investigations arrested Garcia on Feb. 12, when agents executed a search warrant at a home she frequented.

"At the residence, Agents encountered George Enrique VARGAS," according to the criminal complaint against him.

Vargas was arrested by the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office and charged with possession of less than 1 gram of a controlled substance. He was released from the Hidalgo County jail on Wednesday — and arrested by federal agents.

"In VARGAS' phone HSI Agents found multiple photographs of kilogram quantities of cocaine in excess of 5 kilograms and large amounts of bulk currency," according to the criminal complaint against him.

Agents also found WhatsApp messages about drug trafficking.

"On the property, Agents located multiple vehicles and database queries revealed additional vehicles owned by VARGAS," according to the criminal complaint against him. "However, VARGAS and GARCIA have no reported earnings through Texas Workforce Commission since at least 2001."

Garcia and Vargas are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine.

Court records don't list attorneys for Garcia or Vargas, who remained in federal custody Sunday and couldn't be reached for comment.

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