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Five men indicted in Starr County drug smuggling case

1 month 1 week 5 days ago Wednesday, June 03 2020 Jun 3, 2020 June 03, 2020 1:54 PM June 03, 2020 in News

McALLEN — A grand jury indicted five men on federal drug trafficking charges last month — including a man accused of destroying U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration surveillance cameras.

Jose Luis Garcia, 42, of Rio Grande City was arrested in March after the DEA accused him of destroying surveillance cameras.

At the time, Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Profit said that Jose Luis Garcia was the leader of a Starr County drug trafficking organization with cartel connections.

The DEA cameras were near “a staging area that has been used in the past by the cartel,” Profit said.

Jose Luis Garcia shot two surveillance cameras with a rifle in August 2019, according to the criminal complaint against him. Two brothers — Daniel Sepulveda, 26, of Rio Grande City and Rene Sepulveda, 23, of Rio Grande City — were seen with him that day.

A federal anti-drug task force arrested Daniel Sepulveda; his other brother, Evaristo Sepulveda III, 35, of Rio Grande City; and Juan Idalecio Garcia, 38, of Rio Grande City in February, weeks after a major drug bust.

A grand jury indicted all five men on May 29, charging them with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute about 320 kilograms of cocaine.

The indictment also charged Jose Luis Garcia with tampering with documents or proceedings.

Prosecutors secured a separate indictment against Rene Sepulveda, accusing him of participating in another smuggling attempt that involved 1,200 pounds of marijuana.

All five men are scheduled for a hearing on Friday.

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