South Texas Crime/Court Briefs

LAREDO–A Laredo federal jury convicted a Mexican man of trying to smuggle more than 300 pounds of drugs across the U.S. Mexico border last September.

Authorities said Gregorio Silva-Garcia, 31, of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, was walking near the World Trade Bridge on September 21 in Laredo with five other marijuana bundle carriers. Those are people who carry drugs in a backpack and cross the border illegally.

Border Patrol agents spotted the the six people who were being guided by two men in the area. When they crossed the Rio Grande River into the United States, they tried to arrest them. Most dumped their backpacks in the brush and got away with the exception of Silva-Garcia who still had the drug load on his back.

Agents were able to recover six bundles of marijuana that weighed 318 pounds. Silva-Garcia denied knowing anything about the marijuana or why he was carrying it.

Silva-Garcia was convicted on a charge of conspiring to and possessing with the intent to distribute marijuana after a one-day trial. He will be sentenced next March. Silva-Garcia faces between 5 and 40 years in federal prison and will remain in custody until he is sentenced.

RIO GRANDE VALLEY–Authorities report two police officers were arrested over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend in seperate incidents.

The first was Aldo Sosa, a Hidalgo County Detention Officer, who was arrested for drunk driving in McAllen on Saturday morning. Reports said his blood alcohol level limit was nearly double the legal limit.

Sosa was released on a $2,000 bond and fired from his job, according to the sheriff’s office.

Also, on Saturday, police said Mark Leal, an Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District Officer, was found with 1.2 grams of what is believed to be cocaine during a traffic stop.

Leal was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and he was released from the Hidalgo County Jail on a 10,000 bond. 

SAN ANTONIO–Some college students, a former San Antonio City Council leader and a Methodist minister were arrested on criminal trespass charges after they staged a Dream Act protest at U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson’s office.

The protestors were there for 8 hours and wanted to speak to the senator to her support for the Dream Act, a bill that will allow undocumented immigrants to become citizens if they complete two years of college or military service.

Sen. Hutchinson was on her to Washington DC and didn’t want them arrested, but her office is located in the Port of San Antonio. According to staffers, they are the ones who had the group arrested.

(Briefs compiled from wire and media reports)

–Manuel De La Rosa, South Texas Tribune,


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