Doña Ana County Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Methamphetamine Trafficking Conviction
ALBUQUERQUE—Mark Jessie Rodriguez, 25, of Las Cruces, N.M., was sentenced today in Las Cruces federal court to 108 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release for his methamphetamine trafficking conviction.
Rodriguez and co-defendant Derek Cruz Rubalcava, 25, also of Las Cruces, were arrested on a criminal complaint on July 25, 2014, in Doña Ana County, N.M. The two men subsequently were indicted on methamphetamine trafficking charges in a four-count indictment filed in Nov. 2014.
Count 1 of the indictment charged Rubalcava and Rodriguez with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in July 2014. Count 2 charged Rubalcava with distributing methamphetamine on July 24, 2014. Counts 3 and 4 each charged Rubalcava with possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute on July 25, 2014. According to the indictment, the two men committed these crimes in Doña Ana County, N.M.
On Jan. 6, 2015, Rodriguez entered a guilty plea to a felony information charging him with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. In his plea agreement, Rodriguez admitted supplying the methamphetamine that Rubalcava sold to the undercover agent on July 24, 2014. He also admitted supplying the methamphetamine seized from Rubalcava and from Rubalcava’s residence on July 25, 2014.
Rubalcava also pled guilty on Jan. 6, 2015, to a felony information charging him with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. In entering his guilty plea, Rubalcava admitted selling approximately six ounces of methamphetamine to an undercover FBI agent for $4,600.00 on July 24, 2014. Rubalcava also admitted negotiating the sale of approximately eight ounces of methamphetamine to the same FBI agent for $6,400.00. He was arrested before the transaction was completed. At the time of his arrest, Rubalcava was in possession of a portion of the methamphetamine that he intended to sell to the FBI agent and the rest of the methamphetamine was seized from his residence pursuant to a search warrant. Rubalcava was sentenced on Oct. 8, 2015.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the FBI and the HIDTA Regional Interagency Drug Task Force/Metro Narcotics Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Gould 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, 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.