Accused member of a drug cartel arrested in LakeRidge - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


Accused member of a drug cartel arrested in LakeRidge

Esteban Garcia, Jr. (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center) Esteban Garcia, Jr. (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center)
Home where Garcia lives (Source: KCBD) Home where Garcia lives (Source: KCBD)

A raid in the southwest Lubbock neighborhood of LakeRidge led to the arrest of an accused member of a drug cartel.

On Wednesday, Homeland Security and the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office raided two homes. 

Authorities searched a LakeRidge home in the 8400 block of Wayne Street.

According to the Lubbock County Appraisal District, it is valued at more than $342,000 and being rented by 28-year-old Esteban Garcia.

Garcia's arrest warrant was issued from the Western District of Texas, El Paso Division.

Authorities also raided a home in the 6500 block of 92nd Street. 

Officials removed vehicles from that property just after 9 a.m. 

On Friday at 2 p.m., Garcia appeared in federal court where the prosecutors went over his nine charges including conspiracy to possess a controlled substance, intent to distribute, and aiding and abetting.

The judge said if Garcia identified himself as the person in the search warrant and pleaded guilty, he could have his case moved here to the Northern District, or he has the option of being transferred back to the Western District where the charges were filed.

Garcia said he wanted to speak with his attorney before making a decision.

The judge said an identity hearing will be scheduled for sometime next week to ensure he is the person wanted in the Western District and to make sure he is a U.S. citizen.

The judge said he will remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals until that identity hearing.

A source close to the investigation tells the KCBD investigative team this is a multi-defendant case with ties to a cartel. 

Sources tell us more charges could be filed against Garcia here in the Northern District of Texas.

Garcia's arrest follows an investigation KCBD started more than a year ago after learning from the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office that a member of a cartel was blending into the central Lubbock neighborhood. 

In August of last year, the KCBD Investigative team obtained a video from the Lubbock County Sheriff's off of an admitted gang member, nicknamed Red, revealing what was really happening in Lubbock neighborhoods.

"I actually went to a party in Lake Ridge and the guy that owned the house is a cartel member," Red said.

"You would never know it from seeing him. He's like the average blue collar guy, probably goes to work every day, got a son on the soccer team or the baseball team, and he's a very high-ranking member of the cartel and he lives right out there in Lake Ridge," Red said. 

According to county records, Garcia and his wife own Outlaw Trucking.

We are still working to learn if that company has anything to do with the charges related to trafficking drugs and money between the U.S. and Mexico. 

This is an ongoing investigation.

We will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available. 

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