Sgt. Maj. Jorge E. Garcia, a career counselor for the U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) out of Fort Liberty (formerly Fort Bragg), is facing trial on multiple charges. Garcia is accused of smuggling methamphetamine, coordinating illegal operations with gang members, and using his government-issued travel card for unauthorized purchases at a strip club.
According to Military.com, court documents state that Garcia traveled abroad at least five times since 2021 while engaging in “cyber-related activities in support of a criminal gang by promotion of such activity…with the knowledge that such activities include an extremist cause.”
Garcia also placed a $241.89 charge on his government travel card from The Flirt Lounge, a nightclub located in Arlington, Virginia, in 2021. Garcia was apprehended by authorities in San Ysidro, a border town in California just outside of San Diego, in May 2023 with 24 pounds of methamphetamine.
Garcia’s trial will mark the second drug-trafficking-related trial for Fort Liberty soldiers this year. In January, Gordon Ray Custis, a former Fort Liberty soldier, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in a drug trafficking and money laundering scheme. Custis was apprehended after the customs department from Charles De Gaulle International Airport, France, intercepted a package addressed to him that contained ketamine.
The package was then delivered to Custis by Federal Task Force Officers with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, resulting in his arrest. Custis entered a guilty plea and was released while awaiting sentencing. During this time, the Army Criminal Investigative Division and Defense Criminal Investigative Service received information that Custis was engaged in money laundering.
A subsequent investigation and raid on his home revealed $700,00 in laundered money, 28.5 kilograms of ketamine, $164,200 in cash, and various drug distribution materials. His wife, Shabrea Chantel Bright, also an active-duty soldier at the time, was charged with two counts of conspiracy to launder money, abetting in the laundering of money, and conspiracy to distribute ketamine.
According to a memo issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding Custis’s conviction, US Attorney Michael Easley stated that Custis’s arrest and sentencing signified a partnership between the Army and the DOJ.