Las Cruces Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking Charges
ALBUQUERQUE—Joshua Almaguer, 33, of Las Cruces, N.M., pled guilty this morning in Las Cruces federal court to methamphetamine trafficking charges. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Almaguer will be sentenced to ten years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.
Almaguer is one of three residents of Las Cruces who were charged in a four-count indictment that was filed in June 2014. Almaguer and co-defendant David Enriquez, 27, were arrested in Aug. 2014; their co-defendant Renelle Serna, 24, previously had been arrested in July 2014. The indictment charged the trio with trafficking methamphetamine in Doña Ana County, N.M., in May 2014.
During today’s proceedings, Almaguer pled guilty to two counts of distributing methamphetamine in May 2014. In entering his guilty plea, Almaguer admitted that he and his co-defendants distributed approximately 42 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover agent on May 20, 2014.
Serna pled guilty on Jan. 6, 2014, to a felony information charging her with two counts of distributing methamphetamine and two counts of possession of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. In entering her guilty plea, Serna admitted that she and her co-defendants distributed methamphetamine to an undercover agent on two occasions on May 20, 0214. The first distribution involved 14 grams of methamphetamine and the second involved 28 grams. Serna also admitted that she possessed 146 grams of methamphetamine on May 23, 2014, and 134.6 grams of methamphetamine on July 25, 2014, with the intention of distributing the drugs to others.
On Feb. 4, 2015, Enriquez pled guilty to Counts 1 and 2 of the indictment charging him with distributing methamphetamine on two occasions in May 2014. In entering his guilty plea, Enriquez admitted distributing a gram of methamphetamine to an undercover agent on May 9, 2014. Enriquez also admitted that he and his co-defendants distributed 14 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover agent on May 20, 2014.
At sentencing, Enriquez faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and Serna faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison. All three defendants remain in federal custody pending their sentencing hearings which have yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the FBI and the HIDTA Regional Interagency Drug Task Force (RIDTF)/Metro Narcotics Task Force. The case is being 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.