Attorney General Paxton today announced that Laura Janeth Garza, a Mexican national, pleaded guilty to charges of voter impersonation and ineligible voting, both second-degree felonies. She was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to 10 years in jail, probated for 10 years, charged a $10,000 fine, and 180 days in jail to be served day-for-day on each count as a condition of probation. Garza will be deported after serving her jail time.

The Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Houston Region brought Garza’s case to Attorney General Paxton’s office, and it was determined in May that she stole the identity of a U.S. citizen and illegally registered to vote in Harris County. Garza voted illegally in multiple elections, including the November 2016 presidential election,

“Election integrity is a top priority for my office, and arrests and convictions like this clearly demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that Texas elections remain free and fair,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Anyone attempting to deprive the people of Texas of their voice in either state or federal elections will be brought to justice and penalized by the full extent of the law.”

The U.S. State Department referred Garza’s case to the Criminal Investigations Division of DPS after a citizen attempted to obtain a U.S. Passport, only to discover that Garza had already done so using the woman’s identity. The case was then handed over to the Office of the Attorney General for an election fraud investigation.

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