Ernesto Garcia, 59, of Lubbock, Texas, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to 24 months in federal prison, and a term of three years supervised release, following his guilty plea in June 2013 to one count of perjury, stemming from his sworn testimony in a detention hearing held in May 2012 in federal court in Lubbock. Garcia has been in federal custody since his arrest in late May 2012. Today's announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
According to the factual resume filed in the case, on April 16, 2013, the U.S. filed a Motion to Detain defendant Pena, in the case of U.S. v. San Juanita "Janie" Pena, Case No. 5:12-CR-024-C(2). In that case, defendant Pena was charged with conspiracy to commit tax fraud and false statements, and numerous substantive counts of the same. One of the government's main allegations was that Pena had no home, residence, or place to live or go if she were released. Pena contested the motion and a detention hearing was held on May 2, 2012.
During that hearing, according to the factual resume, Pena called Garcia as a witness to testify on her behalf. After being sworn in, Garcia testified that he had known Pena for 10 to 12 years and that he could be responsible for her if she were released into his custody. On cross-examination, in response to questions posed to him, Garcia testified that he did not have a criminal record. In fact, Garcia well knew that he did have a criminal record, having been convicted in 1993 in Iowa for possession of a controlled substance.
The case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulina Jacobo prosecuted.