LAREDO, Texas – A 37-year-old Texan has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of possession with intent to distribute a large quantity of marijuana, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Roberto Garcia Saldana pleaded guilty June 9, admitting he knew there were narcotics inside the travel trailer he was storing for others.
Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana ordered Garcia Saldana to serve a 60-month sentence to be immediately followed by four years of supervised release.
On May 2, 2017, authorities conducted surveillance on what they suspected to be a marijuana stash house in Zapata. As law enforcement approached, Garcia Saldana had attempted to run from the rear of the residence. He was soon apprehended.
A search of a travel trailer on the property led to the discovery of 50 bundles of marijuana. The drugs weighed a total of approximately 476 kilograms with an approximate value of $420,000.
Saldana has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation dubbed Operation Falcon Talon with assistance from FBI, Border Patrol and Texas National Guard. OCDETF is the largest anti-crime task force in the country. Its mission is to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug trafficking and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States through prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven and multi-agency task forces that leverage the authorities and expertise of federal, state and local law enforcement.
Deputy Criminal Chief Mary Lou Castillo and Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony J. Evans prosecuted the case.