Mexican Nationals Plead Guilty to Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 11, 2013|
ALBUQUERQUE—Jesus Omar Lopez-Valle, 28, of Jarales, New Mexico, and his brother, Hector Manuel Lopez-Valle, 24, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, pled guilty on Friday afternoon to methamphetamine trafficking charges. Jesus Lopez-Valle also pled guilty to the unlawful possession of firearms. The two men, who are Mexican nationals illegally present in the United States, entered their guilty pleas without the benefit of any plea agreement.
Jesus Lopez-Valle and Hector Lopez-Valle each pled guilty to a superseding indictment charging them with conspiracy and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Jesus Lopez-Valle also pled guilty to being an illegal alien in possession of firearms.
Their co-conspirator, Adaucto Chavez-Meza, 20, a Mexican national residing in Belen, New Mexico, pled guilty on February 25, 2013, to an indictment charging him with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute charges. Chavez-Meza also entered his guilty plea without the benefit of any plea agreement.
According to court records, from February 21, 2012 to March 1, 2012, Jesus Lopez-Valle and Hector Lopez-Valle conspired with Chavez-Meza to sell four pounds of methamphetamine to an individual who, unbeknownst to them, was an undercover officer. On March 1, 2012, Jesus Lopez-Valle, Hector Lopez-Valle, and Chavez-Meza were arrested in Albuquerque after they displayed more than four pounds of methamphetamine to the undercover officer. During post-arrest interviews, Chavez-Meza admitted that they intended to sell the methamphetamine to the undercover officer for approximately $60,000. Jesus Lopez-Valle also admitted that the three men intended to sell the methamphetamine to the undercover officer, and Hector Lopez-Valle admitted transporting the methamphetamine from Belen to Albuquerque.
All three men have been in federal custody since they were arrested and will remain detained pending their sentencing hearings, which have yet to be scheduled. At sentencing, each man faces a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison for the drug trafficking conviction, and Jesus Lopez-Valle faces up to 10 years in prison for his firearms conviction. The men will be deported after they complete their prison sentences.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Samuel A. Hurtado and Nicholas J. Ganjei and was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI.