Beaumont, Texas - A Mexican national was sentenced Thursday to two years in federal prison for drug trafficking-related crimes.

The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney John M. Bales, Eastern District of Texas. This investigation was conducted by the Beaumont Police Department (BPD), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Hugo Alberto Macias-Garcia, 44, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ron Clark to 24 months in federal prison for interstate transportation in aid of racketeering. Garcia was also ordered to forfeit about $47,000 cash. He pleaded guilty to the charges May 23.

According to court information, on July 12, 2015, Garcia was stopped by BPD patrol officers for traffic violations while traveling westbound on Interstate Highway 10 in Beaumont. A search of the vehicle revealed about $52,000 cash hidden inside a tool box. The cash was separated into bundles and stored in plastic bags consistent with methods used in drug trafficking organizations.  Garcia was indicted by a federal grand jury in January 2016 and charged with drug trafficking violations. 

Garcia was ordered to be deported from the United States upon release from federal prison. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert L. Rawls, Eastern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.