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Abilene murder suspect sentenced on federal drug charge

ABILENE, Texas - Already awaiting trial for murder and aggravated assault, a 21-year-old Abilene man was sentenced to 135 months – or roughly 11 years – in federal prison on a separate drug charge.

U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor handed down the sentence for Manuel Guadalupe Garcia on Tuesday, three months after Garcia pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Garcia is also accused of fatally shooting Ryan “Chucky” Roberts, 32, at a house on Merchant Street in north Abilene. A second victim ran into the living room when he heard the gunshots, and Garcia shot him four times before he was able to get to a neighbor’s house to call 911.

Garcia fled the murder scene and was wanted by police for months before being caught in August 2016. Police in Arlington made the arrest after pulling Garcia over for a traffic violation on Aug. 22.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the federal judge further ordered that Garcia’s federal sentence be served consecutively “to any sentences imposed in two state cases for murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon that are currently pending in Taylor County,” a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release said Wednesday.

During a traffic stop in October 2015, Garcia gave police permission to search his vehicle – and “an 8-ball of methamphetamine” was found in the ashtray, the release said.

“An additional two baggies of methamphetamine, with a combined weight of more than 400 grams, were found in hidden compartments in the vehicle’s dashboard,” the release continued, noting Garcia “admitted he was paid to transport the methamphetamine to Abilene and deliver it to ‘Bobby.’”

A trial date hasn’t be set on the murder and aggravated assault charges.


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