Texas Woman Sentenced for Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking Conviction in New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE—Natali Arvilla Castro, 28, of Horizon City, Texas, was sentenced this morning in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 45 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for her methamphetamine trafficking conviction.
Castro and Travis Lavar Clark, 36, of Raleigh, N.C., were arrested on May 5, 2014, on a criminal complaint charging them with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. According to the complaint, on Nov. 12, 2013, FBI agents encountered Clark and Castro at a hotel in Doña Ana County, N.M., after receiving information that the couple was transporting methamphetamine from El Paso, Texas to Las Cruces, N.M.
On Sept. 23, 2014, Castro pled guilty to a felony information charging her with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. In entering her guilty plea, Castro admitted that on Nov. 12, 2013, Clark and she possessed approximately 757.34 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Castro further admitted that the methamphetamine was seized by law enforcement from a suitcase in the vehicle she was driving. Castro acknowledged that the pair were being paid to take the methamphetamine from El Paso to open up a “store” in Las Cruces where they intended to sell methamphetamine.
Clark was indicted in Feb. 2014, and charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Clark entered a guilty plea on June 10, 2014, to an indictment charging him with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and acknowledged possessing 757.34 grams of pure methamphetamine. Clark was sentenced on April 28, 2015, to 51 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the FBI and the New Mexico HIDTA Regional Interagency Drug Task Force (RIDTF)/Metro Narcotics Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Y. Armijo of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office prosecuted the case.
The HIDTA 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.