A Morristown-based Mexican national who was taken into custody on Jan. 29 indicated Friday he’ll plead guilty to being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm, according to federal court documents.
Carlos Serrano Garcia, who has two known aliases, was holding a loaded .380-caliber handgun when he was stopped for a tag violation. Those who are in the United States illegally cannot legally possess firearms.
Garcia’s girlfriend, who knew him only by an alias, reported he “carried the handgun everywhere he went for protection,” according to Travis Carrier, a Homeland Security agent.
In 2007, Garcia was taken into custody in El Paso, Texas after authorities determined he had entered the United States illegally. Rather than subject Garcia to deportation proceedings, he was allowed to return to Mexico voluntarily, according to his plea agreement.
In another federal prosecution that originated in Morristown, Charles Edward Barnard, a 46-year-old man who was sentenced to 84 months behind bars for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, has agreed to serve another 21 months for violating the terms of his supervised release.
The good news for Barnard is that when he’s set free, he will be under court supervision no more. After testing positive for methamphetamine, Barnard initially represented that a friend he hadn’t seen for 15 years showed up in front of his residence with a frozen drink that must have contained drugs, a story that didn’t fly with U.S. Magistrate Clifton L. Corker.
“In any event, reminiscent of the biblical story of Adam and Eve in the garden where Eve tempted Adam by offering the forbidden fruit, this long-lost friend offered (Barnard) a drink,” Corker wrote in a detention order.
“It must have been that long-lost friend of 15 years ago, who just so happened to show up in the parking lot with the drinks while the defendant was emptying his trash. His story, while genuinely told, is so bizarre that it strains credibility to the breaking,” the federal magistrate concluded.