Guatemalan drug lord receives life sentence in Eastern District of Texas court

Crime & Public Safety

FILE PHOTO

SHERMAN, Texas (KETK) – A man from Guatemala who ran an international drug trafficking ring received a life sentence on Monday, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei. The Smith County Sheriff’s Office also assisted with the investigation into the drug lord.

Wilson Wilfredo Luargas-Garcia, 44, who was also known as “Primazo” was convicted on Sep. 18, 2019 to conspiracy to manufacture and distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine for distribution into the United States. 

On Monday, after a sentencing hearing that lasted a full day, U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant sentenced Luargas-Garcia to a term of life imprisonment.

According to information shared in court, Luargas-Garcia was a drug trafficker that delivered large quantities of cocaine to drug cartels and guerrilla fighters in Central and South America.

He worked with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (also known as the FARC) to organize shipments. This is one of the largest violent rebel organizations in Colombia.

Luargas-Garcia was also known for being violent towards his rivals. He used funds from drug sales to obtain weapons and train his own paramilitary guards.

In April 2018, Luargas-Garcia was extradited to the Eastern District of Texas for drug charges.

While he was in local jails, he kept running his drug trafficking organization. Inmates would assist Luargas-Garcia by sneaking in cell phones and other prohibited items into the jails.

Federal investigators worked with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office and the Guatemalan Ministerio Público to look into Luargas-Garcia and put an end to the drug trafficking. Luargas-Garcia also threatened to kill a federal prosecutor.

“Mr. Luargas-Garcia’s sentence sends a strong message that international drug traffickers are not safe from prosecution simply because they reside overseas,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei.  “EDTX will continue to be aggressive in its efforts to extradite and prosecute international drug traffickers and to stop their deadly shipments from ever making it to American shores.”

An official with the DEA also mentioned that their Dallas division is working tirelessly to end criminal organizations such as the one ran by Luargas-Garcia.

“Today, Mr. Luargas-Garcia is being held responsible for actions he took thousands of miles away that have a direct impact on our neighborhoods and our families,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Eduardo A. Chávez.

Gerson Russell Alegría Meza, Chief Prosecutor for narcotics in Guatemala, said the sentence was a success, and he also discussed how the US and Guatemala worked together.

“The fundamental strategy to fight against drug trafficking is to work in a safe, immediate, coordinated, and effective manner between the United States and Guatemala,” he added.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found here.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Smith County Sherriff’s Office, and the Fiscalia de Delitos de Narcoactividad, Ministerio Publico, Guatemala.

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