Former Corrections Officer Arraigned on Drug Trafficking and Contraband Charges
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Dennis Dean Garcia, Jr., 34, of Grants, New Mexico, was arraigned in federal court on Feb. 2 on one count each of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams and more of methamphetamine and attempt to provide contraband in prison. Garcia was indicted by a federal grand jury on January 25.
Garcia was employed as a corrections officer at the Cibola County Corrections Center (CCCC) from January 2019 until Feb. 22, 2021. According to the indictment and other court records, on Feb. 22, 2021, CCCC personnel monitoring surveillance video allegedly observed Garcia remove an item from his pocket and place it into a box in a storage room. The item was recovered from the storage room and taken to the warden’s office for examination. Investigators found it to contain approximately 104 grams of methamphetamine.
“Garcia allegedly smuggled drugs into the Cibola County Corrections Center, compromising the safety and security of the institution,” said Cloey C. Pierce, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Dallas Field Office.
“It's an unfortunate reality that people in all professional positions can become involved in criminal activity,” said Greg Millard, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Division. “But the men and women of the DEA will investigate those who commit such crimes and keep them accountable.”
An indictment is only an allegation. A defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty. Garcia is currently out of custody on conditions of release. If convicted on the drug charge, Garcia faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison. If convicted on the contraband charge, he would face up to 20 years in prison.
The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and the Albuquerque District Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Division investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Robert I. Goldaris is prosecuting the case.