(STL.News) – Paul “Paco” Garcia, 40, of Barnhart, MO, appeared today before U.S. District Judge Catherine D. Perry, who sentenced him to ten years in the Bureau of Prisons for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
According to the plea agreement, law enforcement agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office began investigating Garcia in August, 2018 for trafficking in methamphetamine in an around Jefferson County.
On September 14, 2018, a Jefferson County police officer stopped Garcia for speeding near Highway MM at the Old Highway 21 interchange in Jefferson County, Missouri. The officer asked Garcia to step out of the vehicle and subsequently observed Garcia appearing to reach for a baseball bat located in the car. When officers searched the car they located a silver baseball bat and a firearm in the glove compartment. The firearm was a Rock Island Armory .38 SPL revolver. A further search of the car revealed a small black bag containing metal knuckles and additional .38 caliber bullets. Garcia admitted he kept the revolver in his glove box for protection in connection with his methamphetamine trafficking activities
This case was investigated by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Lisa Yemm handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Garcia remains charged in Jefferson County by the State of Missouri with Animal Abuse in the Second Degree and Armed Criminal Action. Those charges stem from allegations that Garcia threw a Dachshund from his car window after binding its muzzle and legs with tape during February, 2019. Those charges are mere accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty. That case is being investigated by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.