Man sentenced to 5 years in prison for bringing kilo of cocaine to Orleans
ALBION – A man who was arrested about a year ago for bringing a kilo of cocaine to Orleans County was sentenced to 5 years in state prison today by Orleans County Court Judge James Punch.
Luis Alberto Sanchez-Garza, 32, of Mexico has been in jail for nearly a year on $500,000 bail.
He has no prior criminal history. He was charged last June 17, along with a Houston, Texas man for trying to smuggle a kilo of cocaine from Texas into Orleans County. It was the largest cocaine seizure in Orleans County history.
Daniel Guzman, 29, the codefendant in the case was sentenced on May 1 to 7 years in state prison, the maximum as part of a plea deal.
Guzman, who has at least one prior felony, and Sanchez-Garza both pleaded guilty to criminal possession of controlled substance in the second degree.
Sanchez-Garza didn’t get the 7-year maximum. Judge Punch gave him 5 years, citing no criminal history for Sanchez-Garza.
The defendant apologized during sentencing this afternoon, and asked with leniency with the sentence.
Sanchez-Garza said he has two young children and is battling a heart condition.
“I can tell you how much he regrets the actions he took,” his attorney Roger Asmar told the judge.
The judge gave Sanchez-Garza a break from the maximum but said the five years in prison were still warranted “for bringing a large quantity of poison into the community.”
Police, including the Albion K9, searched a vehicle that was stopped on East Avenue in Albion last June 17 and found 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cocaine hidden in the engine compartment.