After Francisco Eduardo Gamez-Harris was arrested for possession of more than a ton of marijuana in 2006, he posted a $20,000 bond and later left for Mexico, failing to appear in his following court hearings, which resulted in a warrant for his arrest in April of that same year.
Fast forward 13 years, and court documents show that the now-49-year-old Gamez-Harris was once again arrested after he showed up at a local port of entry to re-enter the United States earlier this year.
Judge Thomas Fink of Santa Cruz County Superior Court sentenced him to one year in prison on Nov. 19 for one count of failure to appear in the first degree, a Class 5 felony. The judge gave him credit for 244 days served prior to sentencing.
According to court documents, Gamez-Harris was first arrested on Jan. 27, 2006 after he was caught with nearly 2,600 pounds of marijuana. He posted bond approximately a month later, then left the county, reportedly to be with his sick son.
“My son got sick from his right kidney and I went to Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico to be with him,” Gamez-Harris said in his pre-sentencing statement on Oct. 22. “I knew I had a warrant. I self-surrendered at the border to take care of this.”
He was arrested at the Mariposa Port of Entry on April 14, court documents show, and booked into the Santa Cruz County jail. As part of a plea deal with the County Attorney’s Office, he was convicted of failure to appear and the marijuana charges were dropped.