Cuban National Jose Carlos Garcia-Montero Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Cultivate More Than 100 Marijuana Plants
(STL.News) – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn today announced that El Paso County resident Jose Carlos Garcia-Montero, age 34, a Cuban national and lawful permanent resident, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cultivate more than 100 marijuana plants. The Denver Division of the DEA joined in today’s announcement.
Garcia-Montero was part of an organization that would purchase or rent residential properties in Colorado, establish marijuana grows, and help others with harvesting and preparing marijuana. Once cultivated, Garcia-Montero and others would then coordinate distribution of the processed marijuana to out of state buyers.
On March 1, 2017, law enforcement stopped Garcia-Montero’s vehicle in Missouri, finding $176,600 in the vehicle’s spare tire. It was then determined that the currency was proceeds from the sale of marijuana obtained through this conspiracy.
Following the car stop, in March and May of 2017, DEA agents executed search warrants at properties where Garcia-Montero was assisting, financially and physically, in cultivating marijuana grows for the eventual sale of processed marijuana. The searches include:
On May 23, 2017, agents executed a search warrant in Yoder, Colorado. Agents found 171 marijuana plants.
On March 3, 2017, agents executed a search warrant in Peyton, Colorado. Agents found 76 marijuana plants and 38 kilograms processed marijuana.
The guilty plea was entered before U.S. District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore on August 13, 2020. Garcia-Montero is one of seven individuals who have been charged with this conspiracy, and is the fifth to plead guilty. He was charged by indictment on May 23, 2019 and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 30, 2020. This case was investigated by the Colorado Springs Resident Agency 0f the Denver Division of the DEA. Local law enforcement, including the El Paso County SWAT team and the Colorado Springs Police Department, assisted with the execution of the search warrants. The defendant is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Garreth Winstead and Brian M. Dunn.