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Team Biographies

Our people are among the most talented and experienced in the criminal justice field. It is our pleasure to put our extensive experience to serve Jim Wells and Brooks Counties.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY

Carlos Omar Garcia, 79th Judicial District Attorney

Carlos Garcia was sworn in as your District Attorney on January 1, 2013. Carlos has been an attorney since 1995, and has been a prosecutor since 1997. Carlos has worked as a felony prosecutor for over 20 years- 15 and 1/2 of those years as an Asst. District Attorney under two elected District Attorneys in two jurisdictions and has also worked with three elected County Attorneys. For additional information on your District Attorney, please go to his individual page on this website.

ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEYS

Leroy L. Persohn, IV, First Asst. District Attorney

Lee Persohn has been a felony prosecutor for over 20 years. He has worked in two different jurisdictions under five different District Attorneys. During his time as a prosecutor, he has handled a wide variety of cases including murders, sexual assaults, domestic violence, robberies, child abuse cases, asset forfeiture, thefts, burglaries and DWIs. Lee has experience from intake through appeal.

Margie S. Flores, Assistant District Attorney

Margie has served the public as an Assistant District Attorney (1994-1997) for the 105th Judicial District, Assistant Nueces County Attorney (1998-2000), and as a Municipal Judge for the City of Corpus Christi (2000-2015) where she was the Presiding Municipal Court Judge between 2010-2015. Margie's caseload includes domestic violence and child abuse cases. Margie works closely with Women's Shelter of South Texas by assisting with the Domestic Violence 101 course and with the Children's Advocacy Center of the Coastal Bend's Multidisciplinary Team meeting

Matthew J. Zamora, Assistant District Attorney

Matt began his service as a felony prosecutor in August of 2019, however, before his “official” appointment, Matt had interned at the Jim Wells County Attorney’s Office and the 79th Judicial District Attorney’s Office while attending law school. In addition to the experience he gained through the prosecutorial internships, Matt also gained valuable experience working at a civil law firm before being licensed. Matt’s strong work ethic and research skills assist him with the variety of cases he is assigned.

INVESTIGATORS

Margarito Perez, Jr., Chief Investigator

Margarito has been with the District Attorney's Office since 2011, and has nearly 20 years of law enforcement experience. Margarito's background as a DARE instructor, TCLEOSE instructor, Crime Stoppers officer, along with many other related programs made him the right choice to coordinate the community outreach programs for the District Attorney's Office. Maggie holds a Master Peace Officer license and serves as a supervisor for the investigators and crime victim services divisions.

Tammy Hallmark, Investigator

Tammy has worked in law enforcement since 1990, she has worked her way from jailer/dispatcher up to investigator and eventually commander of a task force. In addition to her prior experience working for law enforcement agencies, Tammy has worked as a DA investigator in two different jurisdictions. Tammy holds a Master Peace Officer certification along with many other law enforcement related certificates.

Arturo R. Longoria, Investigator - Brooks

Arturo started his law enforcement career in 1994. Arturo has worked for the Brooks County Sheriff's Department, Premont Police Department, Falfurrias Police Department, and Brooks County Code & Traffic Enforcement. Arturo holds a Master Peace Officer license and is a Gang Resistance Education and Training Instructor. Arturo had also served the Rio Grande Valley Empowerment Zone Corp. as Project Advocate where he provided crime victim services.

STAFF

Vivian Lara, Office Manager- Administrative Division

Vivian started working for the 79th Judicial District Attorney's Office in 2002 and has worked under three different administrations. Vivian has worked in both the Jim Wells and Brooks County District Attorney's Offices. As the office administrator, Vivian handles the daily operations of the office including processing office purchase orders, managing personnel issues, and coordinates the assignments of the legal support staff members.a

Sylvia E. Chapa, Legal Assistant- Asset Forfeiture Division

Sylvia has worked in the asset forfeiture divisions of three different District Attorneys and has over 10 years of experience. Sylvia started in the Asset Forfeiture Department of the 105th Judicial District Attorney's Office in 2000 and remained with the Asset Forfeiture Division of the Kleberg & Kenedy Counties District Attorney's Office until she accepted her current position.

Sonia Elizondo, Legal Assistant- Criminal Division-Jim Wells

Sonia started her career in criminal justice in as an administrative assistant under the Border Prosecution Unit and is currently assigned to crimes against children and domestic violence cases. Sonia's background in the private sector included fleet management, data processing and case management.

Viola Garcia, Legal Assistant-Criminal Division-Jim Wells

Viola has worked under two different District Attorney's since 2009 and has worked in the Brooks County Tax Office. Viola has assisted in preparing indictments for grand jury, assisting with the preparation of criminal cases for trial and preparing motions to revoke probation.

Maria Elena Delgado, Legal Assistant- Jim Wells County In-take

Maria Elena has worked in the judicial system as a deputy clerk with the Jim Wells County District Clerk's Office and now with the District Attorney's Office. Maria Elena's primary duties includes the criminal case in-take from all of the law enforcement agencies filing cases with the DA's office.

Valerie Benavides, Legal Assistant/Public Relation/Social Media Advisor -Criminal Division-Jim Wells

Valerie started working in the judicial system as a Deputy Clerk with the Jim Wells County Clerk's Office and now with the District Attorney's Office. Valerie's primary duties includes preparing indictments for grand jury, assisting with the preparation of criminal cases for trial, preparing motions to revoke probation and community outreach. Valerie also monitors all social media platforms used by the DA's office and continues to assist in improving those outlets.

Sharis Mohair, Legal Assistant-Criminal Division-Brooks

Sharis comes to the District Attorney’s Office with a strong academic background in criminal Justice and experience working in the healthcare field. Sharis’ strong productivity and efficiency level has assisted in the improvements made in the Brooks County Office. Sharis’ primary duties include case intake, assisting with preparing cases files for grand jury, pre-trial and trials, assisting with Brooks County requisition/PO process, and community outreach.

Carla Menchaca Palacios, Legal Assistant-Criminal Division-Brooks

Carla came to the District Attorney’s Office after working in the public sector in the commercial retail and healthcare areas. Carla’s background in outreach and client services along with her strong office skills has help build an office that continues to improve in serving the public with the caseload and with outreach. Carla’s primary duties include case intake, clerical/reception duties, preparing case files, closing completed matters and community outreach.

BORDER PROSECUTION UNIT (Grant Funded Positions)

Jon W. West, Assistant District Attorney/Border Prosecution Unit

This is a grant funded Border Prosecution Unit position embedded in the Texas Department of Public Safety where the prosecutor is available to offer direct technical assistance and training to law enforcement agencies as well as works on developing complex criminal cases for prosecution. Jon has been a prosecutor in a number of South Texas jurisdictions since 1993, and has handled thousands of felony cases.

Marisol Carvajal-Garcia, Assistant District Attorney/Border Prosecution Unit

Marisol began her legal career in 2008 and has experience in civil, criminal and appellate law and has practiced in both State and Federal courts. Marisol's experience as a prosecutor includes work as an Assistant District Attorney under a prior administration. Marisol works under the Governor's Border Prosecution Unit grant handling transnational crimes such as drug offense, human trafficking, and money laundering.

Richard L. Mackay, Assistant District Attorney/Border Prosecution Unit

Richard has been an attorney in the State of Texas since 1987 and served as the First Assistant District Attorney for Coryell County (1995-2004), Assistant Attorney General (2004-2013), Assistant Criminal District Attorney for Taylor County (2013-2015) and Senior Felony Prosecutor for Nueces County (2015-2017). In addition to his long history as a prosecutor, Richard is a former advanced level Texas peace officer and adjunct professor in the Criminal Justice Department at Central Texas College.

Alfonzo A. Cuellar, Assistant District Attorney/Border Prosecution Unit

Alfonzo started his legal career as a solo practitioner in 2018; his case load included both felony and misdemeanor criminal cases, family law, and civil matters. Before being licensed, Alfonzo had gained experience working in the legal field including a Jim Wells County Attorney’s Office internship. After a year of private practice, Alfonzo joined the District Attorney’s office as a prosecutor in the Border Prosecution Unit where, in addition to working up his assigned caseload, he has helped develop strategies for addressing human trafficking issues.

Norma Guerra, Administrative Assistant/Border Prosecution Unit

Norma has worked in the judicial system as a secretary with the Jim Wells County Attorney’s Office and as a deputy clerk with the Jim Wells County District Clerk’s Office. Norma’s primary duties include assisting the BPU with the preparation of criminal cases for trial, preparing discovery packets, assisting the BPU investigator with coordinating training, and keeping track of the measures reported on the grant.

Jason Childers, Investigator/Border Prosecution Unit

Jason started his law enforcement career with the Premont Police Department and the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department and he eventually started with the Alice Police Department where he worked his way up to lieutenant of the criminal investigations division. Jason is an instructor for law enforcement courses at Coastal Bend Community College. Jason is a Master Peace Officer, a TCOLE Instructor and has a Master's degree in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University. Jason is the BPU training coordinator.

JUVENILE DIVISION (Asset Forfeiture Funded Position)

Roman Gonzalez, Assistant District Attorney – Juvenile Division

Roman is a life-long resident of Jim Wells County where he has been involved with many organizations aimed at eliminating substance abuse among our area youth and his life goal is to see our community youth grow into respectable leaders who can continue the cycle of love and support needed in our neighborhoods- which makes him the perfect candidate to continue as our Juvenile Prosecutor. Roman's public service includes time as an Assistant Jim Wells County Attorney (1998-2002), Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Attorney (2005-2008), and as an educator.

CRIME VICTIMS' SERVICES (Grant Funded Positions)

Susie Saenz, Crime Victim's Coordinator- Victim's Services Division

Susie has worked under two different District Attorneys as a legal assistant since 2009 and worked as the Brooks County Court Manager for the 79th Judicial District between 2004-2008. Susie holds a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice. In 2016, Susie took over as the Crime Victim's Coordinator (a position funded through a grant from the Texas Attorney General's Office).

Helna A. Carrera, Victim Advocacy Coordinator- Victim’s Services Division

Helna worked as a Project Advocate for the Rio Grande Valley Empowerment Zone Corp. where she provided crime victim services throughout Jim Wells, Brooks, Kleberg, and Duval Counties. Helna also served the community while working with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office in Brooks County. In October of 2019, Helna was brought in to the Crime Victim’s Services Division to assist with providing additional crime victims’ services through a newly awarded grant from the Texas Governor’s Office.

Lisa Miller, Administrative Assistant- Victim’s Services Division

In November of 2019, Lisa was brought in through a newly awarded grant from the Texas Governor’s Office; she came to the District Attorney’s Office with a strong accounting and program management background. Lisa has helped develop a crime victims’ service process that tracks the many state and federal measures required by the grant funding sources and assisted the coordinators in providing services to crime victims.

RESERVE STAFF

Antonio "Tony" Vera, Reserve Investigator

Tony has over 40 years experience in law enforcement. He has worked under three different sheriffs where he held several assignments which included patrol officer, chief jailer, and criminal investigator. Tony has also worked as a DA investigator under three different District Attorneys and served as the chief investigator for the DA's office up until his retirement. Tony holds a Master Peace Officer certification along with many other law enforcement related certificates.

Jaime Garza, Reserve Investigator

Jaime has over 30 years in law enforcement and is the DA Resource Officer/liaison to the many local law enforcement agencies. Jaime has devoted much of his law enforcement career to the investigation of narcotics and highway and street interdiction. Jaime's experience includes being a commander, Senior Investigation Agent, Special Agent of a multi-jurisdictional task force, and Chief Deputy for Kleberg County. Jaime holds a Master Peace Officer certification along with many other law enforcement related certificates.

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