Mexican Nationals Residing in Valencia County Sentenced to Federal Prison on Methamphetamine Trafficking Convictions
|U.S. Attorney’s Office July 08, 2013|
ALBUQUERQUE—Adaucto Chavez-Meza, 20, was sentenced this morning to 135 months in federal prison for his methamphetamine trafficking conviction. One of his co-defendants, Jesus Omar Lopez-Valle, 28, was sentenced on June 24, 2013, to 210 months in federal prison for his methamphetamine trafficking and firearms convictions. Both men are Mexican nationals and will be deported after completing their prison sentences.
Chavez-Meza, Jesus Lopez-Valle, and co-defendant Hector Manuel Lopez-Valle, 24, also a Mexican national, were arrested on methamphetamine trafficking charges on March 1, 2012. At the time, the three men were illegally present in the United States and living in Valencia County, New Mexico.
According to court filings, 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. The men were arrested in Albuquerque on March 1 after they displayed more than four pounds of methamphetamine to the undercover officer. During a post-arrest interview, 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 to transporting the methamphetamine from Belen to Albuquerque.
Chavez-Meza pleaded guilty on February 25, 2013, to an indictment charging him with conspiracy and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Jesus Lopez-Valle and Hector Lopez-Valle each pleaded guilty on March 1, 2013, to a superseding indictment charging them with conspiracy and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Jesus Lopez-Valle also pleaded guilty to being an illegal alien in possession of firearms. All three men entered their guilty pleas without the benefit of plea agreements.
Hector Lopez-Valle remains in federal custody pending his sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for July 22, 2103. At sentencing, he faces a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison and will be deported after completing his prison sentence.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Samuel A. Hurtado and Nicholas J. Ganjei and was investigated by the Cross Border Drug Violence Squad of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division and the Las Cruces/Doña Ana County Metro Narcotics Agency.