California Men Sentenced to Federal Prison for Trafficking Methamphetamine in New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE—Two residents of La Puente, Calif., were sentenced today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., for convictions on methamphetamine trafficking charges. Mario Llantada, 51, was sentenced to 168 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release, and Martin Llantada, 42, was sentenced to 121 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release.
Mario Llantada and Martin Llantada were indicted on March 19, 2014, and charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. The three-count indictment also charged Mario Llantada with money laundering and using a communication device in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. On Aug. 14, 2014, the indictment was superseded to add a fourth count, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, against Mario Llantada.
The indictments charged the defendants with participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from Los Angeles, Calif., to Doña Ana County, N.M. As part of that conspiracy, between March 4, 2014 and March 21, 2014, the defendants, who were in California, conspired with each other to sell approximately four pounds of methamphetamine to an undercover FBI agent in Doña Ana County. The defendants were arrested on March 21, 2014, and have been in federal custody since that time.
Mario Llantada pled guilty on Sept. 23, 2014, to the four counts of the superseding indictment without the benefit of a plea agreement. His co-defendant, Martin Llantada pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute an aggregate of four pounds of methamphetamine in Doña Ana County.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the FBI, the HIDTA Regional Interagency Drug Task Force/Metro Narcotics Task Force and the San Bernardino Police Department, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Y. Armijo of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.
The HIDTA Regional Interagency Drug Task Force/Metro Narcotics Task Force is comprised of officers from the Las Cruces Police Department and the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program was created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. HIDTA is a program of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) which provides assistance to federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States and seeks to reduce drug trafficking and production by facilitating coordinated law enforcement activities and information sharing.