A Texas woman has been convicted of selling her 7-year-old son and planning to sell her two daughters, ages 2 and 3 to alleged drug dealers. Prosecutors say that Esmeralda Garza, of Corpus Christi, Texas, used the money she received for her children to settle a drug debt.
Esmeralda was sentenced on Friday to six years in prison, after taking a plea deal last Monday.
Prosecutors told a jury that Esmerelda Garza sold her son to a woman for $500. She was convicted on three counts of selling or purchasing a child, money laundering, and conspiring to sell or purchase a child.
Officials from the Texas Department of Public Safety found Esmerelda’s son in a Corpus Christi home after conducting a drug search warrant last June. “Further investigation revealed two more female children, ages 2 and 3, who were in the process of being sold.”
Its not clear how the boy was cared for, after being purchased.
Esmerelda reportedly told police that she and her boyfriend decided to sell the children to pay off a drug debt.
“Garza stated that she and her boyfriend owe drug money and gave her child to (the woman) who (paid) $500 cash and clear the (owed) debt and an extra $700 when the ‘custody paperwork’ was signed.”
An unidentified man and woman were also arrested, according to a news release at the time. It's unclear if they were charged with a crime.
Prosecutors and Garza's attorney declined to comment after Friday's hearing because a gag order is still in place. A Child Protective Services case is pending.