Deming Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Participating in Methamphetamine Trafficking Ring
ALBUQUERQUE—Ricardo Rodriguez-Magallanes, 38, of Deming, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 87 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for his methamphetamine trafficking conviction.
Rodriguez-Magallanes was indicted in Oct. 2012, in a multi-defendant indictment and charged with participating in a Deming-based methamphetamine trafficking ring. The indictment charged the defendants with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine between April 2012 and Oct. 2012. It also included seven substantive drug trafficking charges, and alleged that members of the conspiracy distributed large quantities of methamphetamine in southern New Mexico communities, including Deming, Las Cruces and Sunland Park. The eight-count indictment also sought forfeiture of property and proceeds derived from or involved in the defendants’ illegal activities.
The charges against the defendants were the result of a multi-agency investigation initiated early in 2012, involving DEA and HSI agents who were acting in undercover capacities and were able to infiltrate the conspiracy. The investigation was designated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”) program. OCDETF is a nationwide Department of Justice initiative that combines the resources and unique expertise of federal agencies, along with their local counterparts, in a coordinated effort to disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations.
According to court filings, during the seven-month investigation, the undercover agents engaged in a series of meetings with members of the conspiracy during which they negotiated numerous transactions involving large quantities of methamphetamine. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement officers seized and purchased approximately two kilograms of methamphetamine and seized approximately $235,206.00 in cash.
On Oct. 18, 2012, law enforcement officers arrested six of the defendants, including Rodriguez-Magallanes, and executed search warrants at residences in Deming, Las Cruces, N.M., and Albuquerque, N.M. Two defendants have yet to be apprehended and are considered fugitives.
Rodriguez-Magallanes, who was charged in three counts of the indictment, pled guilty on March 12, 2013, to participation in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy and distribution of methamphetamine. In entering his guilty plea, he admitted that between April and Oct. 2012, he sold and facilitated the sale of methamphetamine to a person, who unbeknownst to him was an undercover law enforcement agent.
The following defendants have entered guilty pleas and have been sentenced as follows:
· Gildardo Majalca-Aguilar, 47, a Mexican national who is a legal permanent resident and resides in Albuquerque, pled guilty on March 29, 2013, and was sentenced on Aug. 23, 2013, to 168 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release
· Ivan Jesus Majalca, 29, of Deming, pled guilty on April 8, 2013, and was sentenced on Sept. 11, 2014, to 87 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.
· Eleazar Olivas-Mendoza, 47, a Mexican national who is a legal permanent resident and resides in Las Cruces, pled guilty on March 19, 2013, and was sentenced on June 24, 2014, to 108 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release.
· Adam Galindo, 47, of Deming, pled guilty on May 2, 2013, and was sentenced on Aug. 26, 2014, to 24 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release.
· Jose Angel Morales, 25, of Deming, pled guilty on March 8, 2013, and was sentenced on Dec. 5, 2013, to 46 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.
Carolina Gonzales-Hermosillo, 21, and Karla Iveth Nunez-Ortega, 33, are Mexican nationals who have yet to be arrested and are considered fugitives.
Charges in indictments are only accusations. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the fugitives is asked to contact the Las Cruces DEA at (575) 526-0700.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Renee L. Camacho and Terri J. Abernathy of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office. It was investigated by the DEA in Las Cruces, HSI in Las Cruces and Deming, the FBI in Roswell and the HIDTA Las Cruces Metro Narcotics Agency.
The HIDTA Regional Interagency Drug Task Force/Metro Narcotics Task Force is comprised of officers from the Las Cruces Police Department, the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, HSI and the New Mexico State Police. 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.