Suspected Mexican Cartel Member Caught Living in Texas Panhandle

Gulf Cartel
Breitbart Texas / Cartel Chronicles

Federal authorities have arrested a suspected member of a Mexican drug cartel living in Lubbock. The man was wanted on federal drug trafficking charges. 

On Thursday, the U.S. Marshal’s Service and Homeland Security Investigations arrested Esteban Garcia in Lubbock on various federal drug trafficking charges out of El Paso, Texas, court records obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed.

Federal agents in Lubbock received a federal arrest warrant on August 31 and were able to apprehend Garcia soon after in Lubbock, court documents revealed. On Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge D. Gordon Bryant ordered that Garcia be held without bond pending a detention hearing next week.

The charges against Garcia come from a sealed indictment out of El Paso in the Western District of Texas.  The indictment was handed down by a federal grand jury on August 10 and sealed under orders of U.S. District Judge David Briones. The indictment has at least nine defendants, each facing multiple drug trafficking, drug conspiracy and other cartel related charges.

The charges against Garcia have not been unsealed, but the charges filed against the previously arrested defendants revealed that the group was part of a Mexican drug cartel tasked with bringing large quantities of heroin and cocaine.

The court documents do not identify the Mexican drug cartel nor do they describe the individual role allegedly played by Garcia. 

Areas of Cartel Influence in the U.S. (Photo: U.S. DEA)

Areas of Cartel Influence in the U.S. (Photo: U.S. DEA)

According to a special study by the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration that was reported on by Breitbart Texas, the area around Lubbock is a territory under the control or influence of  members of the Sinaloa Cartel. Breitbart Texas has previously reported on how the Sinaloa Cartel has become the dominant criminal organization in Ciudad Juarez pushing out the cartel with the same name as the city.

Ciudad Juarez is the Mexican city immediately south of El Paso and provides cartel operators with vast rural areas east and west of the city with minimal border security. According to DEA information, El Paso continues to see cartel activity from the Sinaloa Cartel, the Beltran Leyva Cartel and the Juarez Cartel.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project and you can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

Lubbock Cartel Member


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