Mescalero Apache Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Methamphetamine Trafficking Conviction
ALBUQUERQUE—Gabriel Gene Ortega, 34, an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Nation who resides in Mescalero, N.M., was sentenced this morning for his methamphetamine trafficking conviction. Ortega was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.
Ortega was arrested on Dec. 7, 2012, based on a criminal complaint charging him with the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine. On April 18, 2013, Ortega pled guilty to a felony information charging him with manufacturing and distributing methamphetamine in the Mescalero Apache Reservation in Otero County, N.M., between Aug. 1, 2011 and Aug. 8, 2012.
Court filings reflect that Ortega was charged based on evidence developed by a BIA investigation. As part of that investigation, the BIA executed a federal search warrant at Ortega’s residence on Aug. 8, 2012, and seized chemicals, equipment and items associated with the manufacturing of methamphetamine. The BIA also seized a vial containing methamphetamine.
In entering his guilty plea, Ortega admitted that he had been involved in the manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine for a year preceding the execution of the search warrant.
This case was investigated by the Mescalero Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services with assistance from the Las Cruces office of the FBI, the Ruidoso Police Department and the New Mexico State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office prosecuted the case.