Pasco man gets 10 years in federal prison for dealing drugs

By Paula Horton, Tri-City HeraldNovember 9, 2012 

A Pasco man will spend 10 years in a federal prison for dealing drugs in the Tri-Cities two years ago.

James Gerald Garza, 42, previously pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Richland to possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

He was sentenced this week to 10 years in prison, followed by eight years of court supervision, Michael C. Ormsby, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, said in a news release.

Garza has a lengthy criminal history, including three prior drug trafficking convictions. He was on work release from a conviction at the time he was arrested, court documents said.

Garza was arrested by detectives with the Tri-City Metro Drug Task Force after selling heroin to a confidential information several times in March and June 2010, documents said.

He was arrested in July 2010 as he prepared to sell more heroin to the informant, documents said. Detectives then found about 24 grams of heroin and 25 grams of crystal meth.

Garza admitted the heroin and meth belonged to him. He told detectives that he didn't use drugs, but "he was in the business of selling drugs," documents said.

Garza also was charged with possessing heroin with intent to deliver, but that was dismissed in exchange for his guilty plea to the meth charge.

"This case is yet one more example of the effective and successful cooperative law enforcement efforts in this district," Ormsby said.

-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; phorton@tricityherald.com

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