Woman caught with drugs to be released pending ICE hold

Published 10:11 am Friday, October 7, 2011

An Austin woman who was caught possessing drugs during a police raid in February 2010 was sentenced Thursday to 21 months in prison, but she doesn’t have to serve any time.

Gabriela Cordova Garcia, 28, was given credit for serving 562 days in jail since her arrest in February 2010. She will be released subject to a federal immigration hold, according to court records.

Garcia was sentenced Thursday for third-degree drug possession. As part of her guilty plea in May, several other felony drug counts, as well as two counts of aggravated forgery, were dismissed.

Email newsletter signup

According to a criminal complaint, the bust occurred Feb. 23, 2010, after an early morning traffic stop that same day. The stop was initiated when an Austin officer noticed a parked vehicle with revoked plates outside the Center Court Apartments on 25th Street SW.

The officer confronted two people inside the vehicle, later identified as Jose Guadalupe Garcia-Diaz, 33, and Garcia. The cop also noticed several open bottles of alcohol inside and asked the driver, Garcia-Diaz, to exit the vehicle.

According to a court complaint, Garcia-Diaz refused and had to be forcibly removed. He was patted down, and the cop found 14 grams of methamphetamine in several bags in his pockets.

When Garcia was handcuffed, as well, the cop searched her bag, which was on the floor of the car. Inside, he found 50 grams of meth, four grams of cocaine and roughly $23,000 in cash, the complaint said.

The two identified themselves as Valerie Ann Garcia and Roberto Herrerra, and they said they were married. A detective, who recognized the vehicle they were in from an ongoing investigation, also recognized the two names as aliases.

Based on that information, a search of the apartment on 25th Street was conducted at around 5 a.m. that morning. Three separate units were searched, the first of which appeared to belong to the couple detained during the traffic stop.

One apartment unit was found occupied by two adults and one child. Inside, authorities found a sock under a bed containing nearly $18,000. A trace amount of meth and an additional $2,300 cash were also found, according to the court complaint.

The room belonged to Andres Cordova-Lopez, 26, who told authorities he didn’t know who the cash belonged to.

He was sentenced on April 1, 2010, on a felony forgery charge.

Garcia-Diaz was sentenced on April 16, 2010, to 48 months in prison on a second-degree felony drug charge. As part of a plea agreement, a felony forgery charge was dismissed prior to sentencing.

—Reporter Mike Rose contributed to this report.