Age: 29 | State: Georgia | County: Glynn | Case Status: Conviction
This is my Victim Impact Statement I wrote and read aloud in Court during the sentencing phase of my son, Wesley Greer’s murder trial. Hugo Margenat-Castro was the defendant charged with Trafficking Resulting in Death or Serious Bodily Injury and Conspiracy and was sentenced to 20 years in Federal prison.
Wesley was the 2nd of my 3 children born a total of 3 1/2 years apart.
He was born a day early, and died way too early. Wesley was a beautiful child. He had thick, white blond hair and tanned so easily. Other mothers would stop me on the street to compliment me about how good looking a toddler he was. He was also very smart and physically gifted. He and his brother took his training wheels off his bike when he was 2 years old, because he didn’t want to look like a baby. He was the 1st kid in t-ball who could hit the ball over the fence and did it most every game. He started wrestling at 6 and won every match by a pin the 1st year. He usually cried while he was pinning the other boy and when they were supposed to shake hands after he was declared the winner, Wesley would hug the other boy to make him feel better. That year he went to the National Wrestling Competition and scored in the top 10 for his age group. He went on to also play football. A big boy, he always started at center and noseguard and his team always won the league championship.
He made good grades and was especially good at math. He was just a sweet, smart, good looking kid, Everyone loved him, but he loved his family more than anything. I always told my children that I had them for each other, not for me. lf l’d had them for me, they would have been 3 or 4 years apart so that each one would able to be independent before the next one came. Not me… I had them one right after each other so they could experience each stage of their life together and be best friends. And they were. They were always there for one another and always loyal, but Wesley took it to a whole other level.
He was the most thoughtful, loving person I have ever known. Wesley wanted for nothing and led a charmed life surrounded by friends and family who loved him.
As with nearly 80% of Americans who become addicted to heroin, Wesley didn’t want or choose to become addicted. While playing a pick-up football game with friends in college at WVU, Wesley hurt his knee. He went to the family doctor and was prescribed hydrocodone and oxycodone for the pain. Then prescribed over and over again in higher quantities.
Wesley, like millions of others, had a predisposition for the disease of addiction. His father is a lifelong alcoholic who has never sought recovery. This began in about 2007. By 2010, Wesley was addicted to opioids and was doctor shopping to keep up with his habit. lt was heart breaking to try everything you could think of, but nothing worked. You think if you can just get him in to treatment, he’ll be all better. Wesley completed 5 rehab programs at about $30,000 each, multiple lOP’s and half-way house stays. Each time he would remain sober for a time, but the disease would grab ahold of him again. As a mother, there is nothing in the world you would not do nor sacrifice you won’t make to save your child. At one time, I even tried the ‘tough love’ approach and threw him out of his sister’s apartment at school leaving him basically homeless. lt broke my heart picturing him walking the streets with his possessions in a trashbag.
By the summer of 2O13, Wesley had aged out of all insurance coverage and could no longer afford pills so his dealer introduced him to heroin. He had hit his rock bottom and finally agreed to go to Faith Farm, a free, 9 month, Christian, men-only program in Ft. Lauderdale where his friend JoJo had been begging Wesley to come for several years. He spent his 27th birthday in detox then checked into Faith Farm and saved his life.
Wesley thrived at Faith Farm and we finally knew he was safe. He devoted his life to Jesus and loved the impact he was able to have on other addicts. He worked In-Take and began to be known by the entire south Florida Recovery community as someone they could turn to and he would help them. He played 1st base on their baseball team and they won the championship every year he did. He became very humble there and no longer cared if the designer label clothes he wore were second hand. He had pride in his appearance and the work he was doing to save others, while giving God the glory.
My Husband has been in law enforcement well over 20 years and I was a Magistrate for l2. We like to believe we’ve impacted peoples’ lives. But the outpouring of love and appreciation we got after wesley’s death was phenomenal. We had no less than 50 people reach out to us and tell us how wesley had saved their life when they were at their lowest. He was an amazing man and still deeply missed by so many.
When wesley graduated Faith Farm in May 2014, he chose to remain there and teach classes and work. lt was home for him. In January 2015, he could not be hired on as a full time employee, so he ended up leaving. At the same time, my husband had been transferred to Brunswick, GA to be a Firearms Instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Soon after, Wesley begged me to let him come move in with us. He said he was being approached by dealers dropping heroin into his pocket trying to lure him back as a customer. He knew he wouldn’t make it in that environment so he moved into our rental and would help me remodel the house we bought.
Wesley was skilled at construction and had worked for my mother and me many times in the past. He did beautiful work for me and was great company where I knew no one else. lt was a real gift to have him work side-by-side with me everyday at 27 and see he had returned to the sweet, loving man I had always hoped he would become. He told everyone he was a “Momma’s boy” and didn’t care what they thought. Every morning he’d bound through the kitchen door with a “Hey Momma” and a big hug.
He picked our Church to attend and would go to services and bible study with my husband and me each week.
The night before he died, he came to the house so excited about the positive interview he had doing maintenance work for a landlord nearby. He was expanding his business and would soon be able to support himself with it. After dinner he was telling my husband and I he wanted to build a dock in our backyard over our lake. He wanted to marry his girlfriend Krystle there, then have the reception in our yard. We had completed most of the renovations on the house, but he promised to come the next morning and help me paint the front door. He told me, “I love you, Mom.” Then, “l love you, Rich,” and went home
When he didn’t show up in the morning, l started to worry. l called and texted with no answer. My husband called and I asked him to stop by and check on Wes. I left our home at the same time. l was on the phone with him when Rich entered the house, called out to Wes, then found him dead on the floor just outside the bathroom. I hung up and called 911, but we both knew it was too late. My worst nightmare had come true. Just when things were going so well, he made a poor choice and he’s gone… forever. No marriage, no grandchildren, no starting his own business. All the hopes and dreams I had always known for my amazing boy were gone. The only thing that gets me through is knowing that he had been saved, and that he died in his home knowing how much he was loved.
The Orlando Drug Task Force did an amazing job. They used his phone to set up a controlled buy and arrested the Defendant within days. He had been arrested repeatedly under the statecode and got off with a slap on the wrist.
Margenat-Castro had a very swift business on the online website The Experience Project. Under the name Pothead Juice, he openly offered heroin for sale and included his phone number. In all the texts between he and my son, they discussed my son buying heroin. He admitted to Agents that he knew he was selling pure fentanyl to his customers. Fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin. My son’s death certificate reads Homicide because he was never told the drugs he was buying would kill him. l take comfort that the Medical Examiner said he died instantly.
My life will never be the same. I tried exercising to relieve the grief, but my heart gave out. I say it literally broke. This year alone, I have accrued over $1.3 million dollars in medical bills due to the stress of losing my son. I haven’t been able to work, and don’t know when I will be able to return to work. I have been seeing a grief counselor for 2 years, every other week to help me cope.
The opioid epidemic is killing 144 people each day in the US. Mr. Margenat-Castro was personally responsible for at least 4 deaths in just a few months time. This isn’t including the over doses that didn’t end in death he caused, and the other time periods when he killed others with his trafficking.
There needs to be a strong, aggressive message sent to traffickers that if they are murdering people and taking those lives, in return they will go to prison for most of theirs. Thank you for your time, Your Honor.