Albuquerque Woman Sentenced for Participating in Scheme to Smuggle Drugs into Otero County Prison
ALBUQUERQUE—Ana Lopez, 25, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for her conviction on conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin.
Lopez was one of six individuals charged in April 2014, in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to violate the federal narcotics laws by smuggling controlled substances into the Otero County Prison Facility (OCPF) in Chaparral, N.M. The other defendants charged with participating in the conspiracy were Luis Delgadillo, 38, of El Paso, Texas, who was then employed as a corrections officer at OCPF, Nancy Salas, 36, of Alamogordo, N.M., and three OCPF inmates, Eric Lovato, 31, of Boles Acres, N.M., and Armando Lopez, 28, and Gary Borja, 27, both of Albuquerque. All six defendants subsequently were indicted on Aug. 20, 2014, and charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin charge on Aug. 20, 2014. At the time the crimes were committed, Delgadillo was a corrections officer at the OCPF.
The FBI initiated an investigation into the case in Jan. 2014, after receiving information from the New Mexico Corrections Department showing that Delgadillo was smuggling heroin and methamphetamine into the OCPF. The investigation, which included a review of recorded inmate telephone calls and OCPF surveillance video, physical surveillance and the results of inmate drug testing, identified the six defendants as members of a conspiracy who smuggled narcotics into the OCPF between Jan. 2014 and April 2014.
Ana Lopez pled guilty on Aug. 25, 2014. In her plea agreement, Ana Lopez admitted participating in a conspiracy to smuggle drugs into the OCPF. The plea agreement states that Ana Lopez was recruited to help smuggle drugs into the prison in Jan. 2014. Ana Lopez admitted delivering an ounce of heroin in Feb. 2014 and again in March 2014, to a person knowing that the person would give it to a corrections officer who would smuggle the heroin into the prison. Ana Lopez also admitted that on April 26, 2014, she met with the corrections officer and gave him 25 grams of methamphetamine, 11 grams of heroin and 10 suboxone pills so he could smuggle the drugs into the prison.
Lopez’s five co-defendants have entered guilty pleas to the indictment. Sentencing hearings have yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the FBI and the New Mexico Corrections Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark A. Saltman of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.