News Release
Date: January 03, 2012
Contact: Lisa A. Webb Johnson
Public Information Officer Contact: Lisa A. Webb Johnson,
Number: 713-693-3000

Record Marijuana Seizure Lands Alamo Man 12 Year Prison Term

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Hector Garza Martinez, 44, of Alamo, Texas, has been sentenced to 145 months in federal prison without parole for possession with intent to distribute more than 5,000 kilograms of marijuana, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge, Javier F. Peña and United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. The load was the largest single seizure of marijuana at the Falfurrias checkpoint in 2011 and the largest single marijuana seizure processed by the DEA Corpus Christi Resident Office in 2011.

In July 2011, Martinez arrived at the Falfurrias checkpoint driving a tractor trailer. A routine K-9 exam resulted in an alert prompting Border Patrol agent to refer Martinez and his vehicle to secondary for further inspection. A detailed inspection resulted in the discovery of 470 bundles wrapped in cellophane concealed within a load of cotton seed in the trailer which tested positive for marijuana. At the time of the seizure, law enforcement officials estimated the marijuana had a value of approximately $9.5 million. Martinez pleaded guilty Oct. 6, 2011.

Today, United States District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos sentenced Martinez to 145 months in prison to be followed by a five-year term of supervised release. In federal custody since his arrest, Martinez will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future.

The conviction stems from an investigation by the DEA and United States Border Patrol.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Watt.