Lovebirds to jailbirds

Maurice Arnezs Young and Lila Ann Garcia

BEEVILLE – A Beeville couple, who officials say are notorious methamphetamine dealers, are behind bars.

Judge Patrick Flanigan on July 22 sentenced 46-year-old Lila Ann Garcia – also known as Lila Ann Zapata – to 15 years in state prison. This was subsequent to her conviction on a first-degree felony charge of manufacture and delivery of 4-200 grams of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1.

Garcia’s accomplice and boyfriend, 32-year-old Maurice Arnezs Young, who also had been convicted of manufacture and delivery of 4-200 grams of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, received a 15-year prison sentence June 11 from 343rd District Court Judge Janna Whatley.

“These are just the latest two to be sentenced in an initiative that was started by District Attorney Jose Aliseda, to target those involved with the illegal narcotics trafficking in our community,” said Investigator John Landreth of the 156th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Landreth, along with fellow DA’s office Investigator Bill Lazenby, led the probe that resulted in Garcia and Young being sentenced. The investigators were assisted by the Bee County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

Garcia and Young were arrested Feb. 20, 2019, after Landreth and Lazenby obtained search and arrest warrants for the pair. Young was apprehended in a room at the Executive Inn on North St. Mary’s St., while Garcia was taken into custody after a raid on a home on U.S. Highway 181 Business north of the city, as previously reported in the Bee-Picayune.

In addition to methamphetamine, officers found pipes for smoking the drug, an electronic scale and a police scanner in the residence.

When Young was arrested, Landreth said he had been free on bond related to an earlier arrest. For that offense, the investigator said Young was serving seven years in prison when it came time to be sentenced on this latest charge.

Garcia, Landreth said, is no stranger to law enforcement, having racked up numerous arrests since the mid-1990s.

“She has an extensive criminal history,” he said.

The DA’s office continues to aggressively pursue convictions against those involved in the area’s drug trade.

“There is no doubt that the trafficking of these illegal narcotics is like a cancer in our community and District Attorney Jose Aliseda has vowed that his office will continue to focus on this issue,” Landreth said.

William J. Gibbs Jr. is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 361-358-5220, or by email at wgibbs@mysoutex.com.

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