Federal agents arrest man running from drug ‘load’ car

McALLEN — A Mexican national faces federal drug charges after he was found with more than 40 kilos of cocaine last week, records show.

Hugo Cristobal Garza-Ornelas made his initial appearance in court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter. E. Ormsby on Wednesday related to his March 17 arrest. Garza was arrested after authorities witnessed him running from what was later determined to be a “loaded” car, the criminal complaint against Garza stated.

Federal agents were conducting surveillance on a vehicle suspected to be involved in drug smuggling March 17 when they witnessed a man begin to run away from the vehicle.

“During surveillance HSI Task Force Officers noticed the suspect load vehicle being abandoned by the driver in McAllen, Texas,” the document stated.

Federal agents then watched as Garza fled on foot, away from the suspected load vehicle.

Agents subsequently detained and arrested Garza, the document stated.

After detaining Garza, agents searched the vehicle and found 12 packages inside the vehicle, on the vehicle’s floor. The packages, which later were determined to be full of cocaine, weighed a combined 14.68 kilograms, the complaint stated.

In addition to the search of the vehicle, agents conducted a search of Garza’s residence in the 1300 block of Shasta Avenue, where they ultimately discovered more narcotics, specifically, they discovered behind a “false wall,” 22 more tightly wrapped packages that were tested and determined to contain 26.74 kilos of cocaine, the record shows.

After the search at Garza’s residence, agents interviewed Garza about the two discoveries.

“HSI Task Force Officers interviewed Garza who admitted to picking up the suspected load vehicle with the intentions of extracting narcotics,” the document stated. “Garza also admitted to knowing there were narcotics hidden in the residence.”

Garza is due back in court this week for a scheduled detention hearing where the court will decide on whether or not to grant a bond.