Man accused of throwing dachshund out car window in Jefferson County gets 10 years on gun charge

Flick%2C+a+dachshund+dog%2C+was+found+by+a+Jefferson+County+sheriff%27s+deputy+bound+with+duct+tape+in+a+ditch+in+February+2019.+The+deputy+matched+a+fingerprint+on+the+duct+tape+to+Paul+Garcia%2C+who+was+charged+in+the+case.+Photo+courtesy+of+the+Jefferson+County+Sheriff%27s+Office.+

Flick, a dachshund dog, was found by a Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy bound with duct tape in a ditch in February 2019. The deputy matched a fingerprint on the duct tape to Paul Garcia, who was charged in the case. Photo courtesy of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

A man who was charged with animal abuse in Jefferson County for throwing a dachshund out of his car last year, its muzzle and legs bound with duct tape, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison Thursday on an unrelated charge.

Paul “Paco” Garcia, 40, of Barnhart, Missouri, appeared Thursday before U.S. District Judge Catherine D. Perry, who sentenced him to 10 years in the federal Bureau of Prisons for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Federal agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and deputies from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office began investigating Garcia in August 2018 for trafficking in methamphetamine in and around Jefferson County, according to the plea agreement.

On Sept. 14, 2018, a Jefferson County police officer stopped Garcia for speeding near Highway MM at the Old Highway 21 interchange in Jefferson County, Missouri. 

Paul Garcia

The officer asked Garcia to step out of the vehicle and subsequently observed Garcia appearing to reach for a baseball bat located in the car. When officers searched the car, they found a silver baseball bat and a firearm — a Rock Island Armory .38 SPL revolver — in the glove compartment.  Investigators also found a small black bag containing metal knuckles and additional .38 caliber bullets.

Garcia admitted he kept the revolver in his glove box for protection in connection with his methamphetamine trafficking activities.

This case was investigated by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the ATF.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Yemm  handled the case for the U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Missouri.

Garcia still faces state charges in Jefferson County for second-degree animal abuse and armed criminal action.  Those charges stem from allegations that Garcia found a lost dachshund and threw the dog from his car window after binding its muzzle and legs with tape in February 2019. 

Those charges are mere accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt, the federal government said in its press release.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.  The animal-abuse case is being investigated by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.