A Jefferson Parish judge on Thursday (July 28) sentenced Miguel Angel Garcia Jr., to 20 years in prison for his role in a conspiracy to distribute 50 pounds of cocaine that federal and local authorities found concealed in modified vehicle gas tank.
Garcia, 44, of Laredo, Texas, was convicted as charged by a Jefferson Parish jury on June 14 of possession of more than 400 grams of cocaine and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. This charges stem from his arrest on March 3, 2016, outside a motel in the 2400 block of Clearview Parkway in Metairie.
Acting on a tip, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents and Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies surveilled the motel and observed Garcia and Misael Cardenas-Sanchez, with a pick-up truck and an attached trailer on which an inoperable Chevrolet Trailblazer was set.
The Trailblazer’s gasoline tank was modified to store the cocaine, according to evidence presented at trial. All told, the authorities recovered 20 bricks of cocaine
Judge Ellen Shirer Kovach of the 24th Judicial District Court sentenced Garcia to 20 years for the possession of more than 400 grams of cocaine and 15 years for the conspiracy offense. She ran the sentences concurrently.
Sanchez, now age 19, pleaded guilty to those same offenses on Jan. 25 and received a 15-year sentence.
Assistant District Attorneys Doug Freese and Jennifer Voss prosecuted the case.