A Texas mother who admitted to selling her son and trying to sell her two daughters to settle a drug debt was sentenced to prison last week.
Esmerelda Garza, 29, was sentenced to six years in prison on Friday after being convicted of three counts of selling or purchasing a child, money laundering, and conspiracy to sell or purchase a child. Garza was criminally charged after Texas Department of Public Safety special agents discovered her 7-year-old son at a Corpus Christi home while executing a search warrant in June 2018, according to the Corpus Christi Caller Times.
A woman told investigators that she had purchased Garza’s son for $2,500. Authorities said Garza’s two toddler daughters, ages two and three, were also discovered at the Corpus Christi residence and “were in the process of being sold,” the news outlet reported.
Garza reportedly admitted to Texas’ Department of Public Safety that she sold her son to clear her and her boyfriend’s drug debt.
The mother-of-three received six years for selling her children and two years for laundering and conspiracy, which are state charges. The two sentences will run concurrently. However, KIII reported that she’ll be eligible for parole after a year and a half but won’t be considered until she completes the entirety of her two-year state jail sentence.
KRIS reported that DPS is in the process of pursuing a case against Garza’s boyfriend and the couple who allegedly purchased her son. The whereabouts of her three children are unknown due to a gag order in the case.
First assistant district attorney Matt Manning said, “It’s very important to us that we send a very clear and unequivocal message: If you hurt children or have the audacity to sell a child, we’re going to do all we can to hold you accountable and put you in prison where you belong.”
[Featured image: Esmerelda Garza/Nueces County Jail]