Federal Jury Finds Artesia Woman Guilty on Methamphetamine Trafficking Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – Yesterday a federal jury sitting in Las Cruces, N.M., returned a verdict finding Genevieve Hernandez, 36, of Artesia, N.M., guilty on methamphetamine trafficking charges after a two-day trial. The jury’s verdict was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Will R. Glaspy, Special Agent in Charge of the El Paso Division of the DEA, and Commander James McCormick of the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force.
Hernandez and her co-defendant, Mickah Chavez, 21, also of Artesia, were indicted in Jan. 2014, and charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Hernandez and Chavez each also was charged with a count of distribution of methamphetamine. The indictment charged the two with conspiring to distribute and distributing more than five grams of methamphetamine on Feb. 22, 2012, in Eddy County, N.M.
Chavez, who was arrested in Jan. 2014, entered a guilty plea to the two methamphetamine trafficking charges against him on March 14, 2014. He was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison on July 1, 2014. Hernandez, who was arrested in Feb. 2014, chose to exercise her right to a jury trial.
The trial against Hernandez began on July 7, 2014, and concluded yesterday when the jury returned a guilty verdict against Hernandez on the two methamphetamine trafficking charges in the indictment. The trial evidence established that on Feb. 22, 2012, an undercover agent who was posing as a drug dealer arranged to purchase a half ounce of methamphetamine from Chavez in Artesia. After negotiating an $800 price for the methamphetamine, Chavez left the area and returned accompanied by a vehicle driven by Hernandez. After Chavez obtained the $800 from the undercover agent, he went to the vehicle and got the methamphetamine from Hernandez. Chavez then delivered the methamphetamine to the undercover agent. In Aug. 2012, agents interviewed Hernandez and inquired about the methamphetamine transaction that occurred on Feb. 22, 2012. During the interview, Hernandez admitted knowledge of the drug deal.
Hernandez has been in federal custody since her arrest and remains detained pending her sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. At sentencing, Hernandez faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison. Hernandez faces this enhanced sentence because she previously has been convicted of a narcotics trafficking crime.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the DEA and the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Renee L. Camacho of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.
The Pecos Valley Drug Task Force is comprised of officers from the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office, the Artesia Police Department and the Carlsbad Police Department, and is part of the HIDTA Region VI Drug Task Force. 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.