A Texas woman who sold her seven-year-old son and attempted to sell her two toddler daughters in an effort to settle a drug debt was sentenced Friday to a total of six years behind bars after agreeing to a plea deal.
Esmerelda Garza pleaded guilty in court to three counts of sale of a child, one count of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to sell a child. Judge Jack Pulcher sentenced Garza to a total of six years in prison for her crimes, according to KRISTV.
Garza was arrested in June 2018 by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) for selling her seven-year-old son to a couple for $2,500, along with the help of her boyfriend, to settle a drug-related debt. Garza also reportedly attempted to sell her two young daughters, ages two and three years old, respectively. (RELATED: Nigerian Child Brides As Young As 10 Years Old Sold To Old Men Via Facebook)
“She was sentenced to six years in TDC, in prison, and the companion state jail counts. … She was sentenced to the maximum, which is two years in state jail. 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,” First Assistant District Attorney Matt Manning said, according to southern Texas local outlet KIIITV South Texas.
DPS agents were reportedly executing a drug search warrant in Corpus Christi, Texas, when they located Garza’s son, then discovering that he had been sold and purchased. (RELATED: US Grants Over 5,000 Requests To Bring In Child Brides From Foreign Nationals)
KRIS 6 News reached out to Child Protective Services inquiring about the location of Garza’s two daughters. They were told that they could not provide a comment on the subject due to a gag order.
DPS is still building a case against Garza’s boyfriend and the couple who purchased Garza’s son.