Immokalee drug bust leads to arrest

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IMMOKALEE — Gabriel Garza, 35, of 5117 Bass Road in Immokalee was arrested this week and charged with trafficking cocaine over 28 grams, possession of marijuana over 20 grams and possession of narcotic paraphernalia.

Around 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, deputies with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office Vice and Narcotics Bureau executed a search warrant at Garza’s residence.

During the search, deputies found paraphernalia throughout the home. The items tested positive for cocaine and marijuana.

Deputies also located a black sock under an outside air-conditioning unit. The sock contained multiple plastic bags with a white power-like substance. Inside the sock deputies found a torn plastic bag with a shipping label addressed to Garza.

The white powder-like substance was field tested and the results came back positive for the presence of cocaine. The total weight of the cocaine was 47.6 grams.

Garza is no stranger to law enforcement. In 2018, he was arrested for misdemeanor battery. In that report, Garza was accused of grabbing his live-in girlfriend by the wrist and pulling her off the bed, onto the floor, into the hallway and then into the living room. Deputies noticed injuries to the victim’s feet and took Garza into custody.

Following his arrest in 2018, the 20th Circuit State Attorney’s Office filed a motion to not charge Garza due to insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

In 2009, Garza was arrested after he reportedly slapped his live-in girlfriend with an open hand, pushed her to the floor, grabbed her by the neck and attempted to choke her. During that incident, deputies noticed bruising to the victim’s neck and face.

Garza would later plead guilty to the charge of battery.

Garza was also arrested in 2006 and charged with battery. He was found guilty and sentenced to one year probation. However, not long after that he violated his pretrial release conditions and was subsequently arrested again.

Garza is in the Collier County Jail awaiting his first appearance in front of a judge later today.

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