Las Cruces Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Narcotics Trafficking Conviction
ALBUQUERQUE—Eddie Gallardo, 32, of Las Cruces, N.M., was sentenced this morning in Las Cruces federal court to 78 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release for his conviction on cocaine and methamphetamine trafficking charges.
Gallardo was arrested on May 22, 2014, on a criminal complaint charging him with methamphetamine trafficking and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The complaint alleged that on May 13, 2014, Gallardo sold a handgun and methamphetamine to an undercover FBI agent. At the time, Gallardo was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of a drug trafficking offense.
Gallardo subsequently was charged in a seven-count indictment filed in Aug. 2014 with cocaine distribution on Aug. 7, 2013, Aug. 22, 2013 and Oct. 30,2013; methamphetamine distribution on Aug. 22, 2013, April 14, 2014 and May 13, 2014; and being a felon in possession of a firearm on May 13, 2014.
On Jan. 6, 2015, Gallardo pled guilty to the six drug trafficking crimes charged in Counts 1 through 6 of the indictment. In entering his guilty plea, Gallardo admitted selling cocaine and methamphetamine on six occasions to a law enforcement officer who was acting in an undercover capacity between Aug. 7, 2013 and May 13, 2014.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Y. Armijo of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office prosecuted the case. This is one of many cases generated by a 15-month investigation by the FBI’s Las Cruces Southwest Border/Safe Streets Task Force and the New Mexico HIDTA Regional Interagency Drug Task Force (Metro Narcotics Task Force). The investigation, which concluded in Aug. 2014, initially targeted methamphetamine manufacturers and traffickers operating out of Doña Ana County, but expanded to include individuals trafficking in other drugs and using firearms to facilitate their drug trafficking crimes. The investigation identified sources of drug supply in Los Angeles, Calif., Tucson, Ariz., and El Paso, Texas, who were supplying drug traffickers in southern New Mexico with high-grade methamphetamine, and led to the filing of criminal charges against 75 individuals, including 42 federal defendants and 33 state defendants. Law enforcement officers seized more than 29 pounds of methamphetamine, 37 pounds of cocaine, 4.5 ounces of heroin, 30 pounds of marijuana, 74 firearms and 17 vehicles during the course of the investigation.