Texas juries don't play when it comes to hard drugs being transported through our State.

August 23, 2011

The reason Mr. Perez didn't go to the judge for punishment is that Burt Carnes would have given more than 60 years if past sentences mean anything. The bottom line is that you don't want to get mixed up in any of this insanity. I have represented a lot of people that were in serious trouble over cocaine possession and drug distribution. Think twice before you take a chance on a serious crime that could put you in prison for a lot of years. Mr. Perez appears to be involved in a life time of smuggling drugs across the border but he won't be doing so for a long time.

Jamie Balagia

Man receives 60 years in Williamson County drug case

Thursday, August 18, 2011, 10:18 AM

Hector Perez (dob 9/2/74) pleaded not guilty before a jury to possession of cocaine with intent to deliver. After two days of testimony, the jury convicted Perez and sentenced him to 60 years in prison.

On August 23, 2010, a Georgetown patrol officer stopped a white Chevy Tahoe driven north on I-35 by Perez for a traffic violation. During a driver’s license check, the officer learned Perez had an open federal warrant for a parole violation arising from a previous conviction for smuggling over $150,000 into Mexico in 2006 in a hidden compartment of a vehicle. A passenger in the vehicle, Gregorio Ochoa, gave consent to search and told the patrol officer that there was “a lot” of dope hidden under a rear floorboard of the vehicle. A subsequent search revealed nearly 8 kilograms of cocaine.

Ochoa cooperated by pleading guilty and testifying against Perez at the jury trial. He testified that Perez and he were paid to transport the drugs. Ochoa awaits sentencing and could face a maximum of 30 years in prison.

The jury also learned that Perez was a suspect in smuggling 198 bundles of marihuana in 2010 over the border at Eagle Pass. Perez’s wallet and identifying information had been found in a vehicle that was abandoned during a high speed pursuit by Border Patrol agents. Immigration authorities determined that Perez had entered the United States from Mexico only five hours earlier.

Judge Burt Carnes immediately sentenced Perez and ordered his immediate transfer to a state prison. Perez will complete serving his federal sentence when he is released from state prison.