The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Mother of student found on campus with cocaine, police say

The mother of a dorm resident was arrested on Nov. 2 in Esperanza Hall on charges of criminal trespass and possession of cocaine.

Graphic by Sergio Medina

University Police Department officers were contacted by an unidentified individual about a suspicious person in the lobby area of Esperanza Hall. 

Officers spoke with Stephanie De La Garza, 46, who claimed she was at the dorms to visit her daughter.

“I wasn’t aware she was here,” said Allison Harvell, accounting freshman and the daughter of De La Garza, in an interview with The Mesquite on Jan. 27. “She called me, but I missed her voicemail.”

Dispatch notified officers of De La Garza who had been identified as trespassing in Esperanza Hall in September.

According to the report, De La Garza was unaware she had a criminal trespass warning for Esperanza Hall.

Footage obtained by the former assistant director of Esperanza Hall shows a woman opening the door for De La Garza on Nov. 2, according to the report.  The Mesquite was unable to obtain the footage.

That student will be receiving a fine for opening the door for an unknown person, which will be discussed in a meeting later on.

De La Garza was handcuffed on Nov. 2 and taken into the university police office with her belongings. 

De La Garza was carrying items including blankets, shirts and chargers.

“Maybe she was bringing me stuff,” Harvel said. “Sometimes she shows up unannounced.”

According to the report, police found no weapons on De La Garza after conducting a pat-search. However, a female officer was requested from San Antonio Police to conduct a thorough search on De La Garza.

SAPD officer Orozco found a small bag containing less than a gram of a powdery substance and an unused clear pipe in De La Garza’s jacket pocket. 

The officers also found a small box cutter in the jacket.

According to the report, a field test kit determined the powdery substance was cocaine. 

De La Garza was charged with criminal trespass and possession of a substance less than one gram and transported to jail. 

According to the report, the assistant district-attorney at the Bexar County Jail later told a UPD officer the District Attorney’s office would proceed with the criminal trespass charge but hold off on the possession charge because the exact weight was needed.

“Dorm guards have to do what they have to do,” said Harvel. “But I love her, she is my mom.”

If convicted of the Class A misdemeanor, De La Garza faces a maximum of one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000 for the criminal trespass charge.

According to the report, officers contacted the assistant director of Esperanza Hall about working together and enforcing more security at Esperanza Hall. 

Unfortunately, the person they contacted is no longer with the university.

Natali Acha, a resident assistant and a communications student at A&M-SA, said Esperanza Hall is run by a digital system. Every resident is given digital key access to the building for all times.

“Management is here during certain hours. However, we have a resident assistant who is on call 24/7,” Acha said. 

Anyone who is not a resident is welcome during visitation hours and will be escorted out once visitation is over, she said.

Visitation hours are from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m.-midnight Friday through Sunday.

About the Author

Ashley Khamtrashyan
Assistant Editor
Ashley Khamtrashyan is a communication senior who transferred from Northwest Vista College. She enjoys spending time with her family and traveling. Ashley is also part of the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists. After graduation, in May 2024, she plans to pursue a career in journalism as a reporter.

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