News and Press Releases

Press Releases 2010

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December 30, 2010.  Press release regarding plea in United States v. Lopez.  Defendant  Kenneth Lopez pleaded guilty to stealing Social Security benefits of a deceased person.

December 30, 2010.  Press release regarding the filing of a superseding indictment in United States v. McCluskey, Province and Welch.  The superseding indictment adds a Notice of Special Findings which preserves the ability of the United States to seek the death penalty.

December 30, 2010.  Press release regarding detention hearing in United States v. Kevin Garner.  The defendant was ordered detained pending trial.

December 30, 2010.  Press release regarding guilty plea in United States v. Beltran, a currency smuggling case.  The defendant, a resident of Tempe, Arizona, pleaded guilty to a three-count superseding indictment charging her with seeking to smuggle $13,700 from the United States into Mexico.

December 29, 2010.  Press Release regarding guilty in United States v. Dunsworth, a case alleging bank fraud and identity theft.  The defendant, a former employee of the Wells Fargo Bank in Espanola, NM, entered a guilty plea to an aggravated identity theft and now faces a mandatory two-year term of imprisonment.

December 21, 2010. Press release regarding an indictment filed in United States v. Porter.  The defendant, a union official, is charged with defrauding the union she represented.

December 21, 2010. Press release on today’s sentencing in United States v. Layne.  The defendant, a 60-year old Aztec resident, was sentenced to 6-years imprisonment based on narcotics trafficking and firearms convictions.

December 21, 2010.  Press release regarding today’s sentencing in United States v. Roper, a bank robbery case.  The defendant was sentenced to 141-months imprisonment based on guilty pleas to armed bank robbery and firearms charges.

December 17, 2010.  Press release regarding the December 16, 2010 guilty plea in United States v. Herrera, a case charging the former governor of the Pueblo of Tesuque with embezzling tribal funds

December 17, 2010.  Press release regarding charges brought in United States v. Rivera, a case charging Santa Fe businessman David Rivera with federal currency structuring offenses.

December 17, 2010.  Press release regarding an indictment filed in United States v. Kupfer, which charges Joseph and Elizabeth Kupfer with federal tax evasion charges.  The Kupfers and others, including Rebecca Vigil-Giron, previously were indicted on state charges by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office.

December 16, 2010.  Press release regarding the guilty verdict returned by a federal jury in United States v. Ahrensfield.  The jury found the former APD officer guilty of obstruction of justice.

December 16, 2010.  Press release regarding today’s guilty plea by Derek Barnhill in United States v. Vincent Garcia, et al., a case alleging bank fraud and money laundering in connection with the Anasazi Downtown development project in Albuquerque.

December 16, 2010.  Press release regarding today’s guilty plea in United States v. Julian.  The defendant, an enrolled member of the Jicarilla Apache Tribe, pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him assaulting another man with a dangerous weapon with intent to cause serious bodily harm.

December 16, 2010.  Press release regarding the funds collected by DOJ and USAOs in FY 2010 -- $6.68 billion collected in civil and criminal actions.

December 14, 2010.  News advisory requesting assistance in locating fugitive Luis Carlos Ruiz-Torres, a Mexican national charged with federal narcotics trafficking offenses in United States v. Andrade, et al.

December 14, 2010.  Press release regarding today’s guilty plea in United States v. Branch.  The defendant, a Rio Arriba resident, entered guilty pleas to using forged prescriptions to obtain controlled substances, defrauding health care benefit programs, illegal possession of firearms, and identify theft charges under a plea agreement that requires him to serve 42-months imprisonment.

December 14, 2010.  Press release regarding today’s sentencing hearing in United States v. Cruz-Pano.  The defendant, a 23-year old Mexican national, was sentenced to an 84-month prison term based on a methamphetamine trafficking conviction.

December 13, 2010. Press release regarding today’s seizure of contaminated chili products in United States v. Undetermined Quantities of Food, a civil case seeking condemnation and destruction of chili product allegedly held in insanitary conditions.

December 13, 2010.  Press release regarding this morning’s sentencing in United States v. Jager, a child pornography case.  The defendant, a United States Air Force Staff Sergeant, was sentenced to 46-months imprisonment to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release based on his child pornography conviction.

December 13, 2010.  Press release regarding today’s sentencing hearing in United States v. Torres-Hernandez.  The defendant, a Mexican national, was sentenced to 51-months imprisonment based on a methamphetamine and marijuana conviction.

Press release regarding today’s guilty plea in United States v. Dion Chato.  The defendant, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, pleaded guilty to a seven-count indictment charging him with trafficking marijuana.

December 9, 2010.  News advisory regarding the Memorandum Opinion and Order filed in U.S. v. Diaz on December 8, 2010.  The order denies Diaz’s motion for release pending appeal.

December 9, 2010.  News advisory regarding the U.S. Attorney’ Office decision not to seek the death penalty in U.S. v. Lopez-Aguilar, et al.  The case charges four defendants with crimes arising out of a June 20,2009 incident at a Denny’s restaurant that resulted in the death of Stephanie Anderson and a June 13, 2009 incident at a Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon.

December 8, 2010.  Press release regarding guilty pleas entered on December 7 and 8, 2010 in U.S. v. Scott and Begay, a case charging defendants with federal assault with a dangerous weapon in connection with a drive-by shooting in Shiprock, New Mexico.

December 3, 2010.  Press release regarding sentencing hearing in U.S. v. Wilson.  The defendant, a Navajo man, was sentenced to a 142-month term of imprisonment for sexually assaulting a girl (his step-daughter) under the age of 12.

December 3, 2010.  Press release regarding sentencing hearing in U.S. v. Garner.  The defendant was sentenced to 78-months imprisonment based on federal narcotics and firearms convictions.

December 2, 2010.  Press release regarding competency hearing, guilty plea and sentencing in U.S.  v. Barber.  Following a finding of competency, the defendant, a Navajo man, was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment based on his guilty pleas to homicide and robbery.

December 1, 2010.  Press release regarding the November 30, 2010 arraignment in U.S. v. Hinojos, a child pornography case filed in Las Cruces.

November 29, 2010.  Media advisory regarding remarks to be delivered by Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, at the 2010 District of New Mexico Tribal Consultation on November 30, 2010, and Mr. Perez’s remarks.

November 29, 2010.  Press release regarding arraignment in U.S. v. Beltran, a LC case charging the defendant with attempting to smuggle currency out of the United States.

November 18, 2010.  Press release regarding dismantling of two major heroin trafficking operations.  Ten Mexican nationals, allegedly members of two heroin trafficking organizations, an importation organization and a distribution organization, were arrested and charged in six complaints.  More than 20 pounds of heroin were seized in connection with the arrests.

November 18, 2010.  Press release regarding arraignment in U.S. v. Moya, a bank fraud case.  The defendants, a former bank official and his wife, are charged with defrauding a bank through the fraudulent use of nominee borrowers.

November 18, 2010.  Press release regarding today’ guilty plea in U.S. v. Erives-Molina , a case alleging an assault on a federal officer.  The defendant admitted to assaulting a Border Patrol agent and possession of more than 50 kilograms of marijuana with intent to distribute.

November 18, 2010.  Press Release regarding today’s guilty plea in U.S. v. McKnabb, a money laundering case.  The defendant admitted that $12,230 in his possession were proceeds from marijuana sales and that he was en route to California to purchase marijuana with those proceeds.

November 17, 2010.  Press release regarding a guilty verdict on November 16, 2010 in U.S. v. Orozco-Orozco.  The defendant, a Mexican National, was convicted of making false statement while attempting to purchase a firearm.

November 17, 2010.  Press release regarding arraignment in U.S. v. Kinslen Smith, an assault case.  The defendant, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, is charged with assaulting his sister, also a member of the Navajo Nation, with a dangerous weapon (steel-toed boots and a chair) and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

November 17, 2010.  Press release regarding today’s arraignment in U.S. v. Preston Yazzie, an assault case.  The defendant, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, is charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

November 16, 2010.  Press release regarding today’s sentencing in U.S.v. Villalobos, a case charging a prior convicted felon and SNM gang member with being a felon in possession of firearms.  The defendant was sentenced to 100-months imprisonment to be followed by three years supervised release.

November 16, 2010.  Press release regarding today’s law enforcement action in southern New Mexico and El Paso, Texas in connection with the case United States v. Pablo Fernando Fuentes, et al.  An indictment unsealed today charges 23 members of a cocaine trafficking organization operating in Southern New Mexico and El Paso, Texas with drug trafficking and money laundering offenses.

November 12, 2010.  Press release regarding federal hate crime charges filed against three defendants in U.S. v. Beebe, et al.  This case, which involves the branding of a swastika-shaped scar into the arm of a disabled Navajo man, is the first case charged under 18 U.S.C.  249, a federal hate crime statute enacted in October 2009.

November 8, 2010.  Sentencing in U.S. v. Boy, a child pornography case filed in Las Cruces.  The defendant was sentenced to a 46 month term of imprisonment to be followed by 5 years supervised release.

November 4, 2010.  Guilty pleas in U.S. v. Mathis and Haywood, a bank robbery case.  Both defendants entered guilty pleas to robbing a Compass Bank branch in Albuquerque.

November 4, 2010.  Sentencing in U.S. v. Six, a federal assault resulting in serious bodily injury case.  Six, a member of the Navajo Nation, was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment to be followed by 3 years supervised release for his role in the brutal beating of another Navajo man.

November 3, 2010.  Guilty verdict in U.S. v. Mills, a case charging a twice convicted felon with unlawful possession of a firearm.  The defendant had prior convictions for aggravated assault on a police officer and attempted aggravated assault on a family member.

November 2, 2010.  Sentencing hearing in U.S. v. Diaz, a case charging the former Lt. Governor of the Pueblo of Pojoaque with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.  The defendant was sentenced to twelve months and a day imprisonment to be followed by six-months home confinement and one-year supervised release.

November 2, 2010.  Sentencing hearing in U.S. v. Garza, charging the former president of a local union with defrauding the union and its membership.  The defendant was sentenced to four-months imprisonment to be followed by three-years supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $87,457.89 to the union and a bank.

November 2, 2010.  News advisory regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of Toby Martinez’s petition for a writ of certiorari.  The defendant was seeking to set aside a sentence of 67 months imprisonment and restitution of  $2,710,818.66 based on his guilty plea to conspiracy to defraud the State of New Mexico during the construction of the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Courthouse.

October 28, 2010.  Statement by U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales Regarding the Extradition of the McCluskey Defendants.

October 28, 2010.   Initial appearance in U.S. v. Celenze, a mail and wire fraud case charged in Albuquerque. The defendant, a former insurance salesman, is charged with defrauding investors, seniors with established retirement accounts, and devising a scheme to transfer investors' retirement accounts to an account controlled by the defendant.

October 28, 2010.   Guilty plea in U.S. v. Conde, a carjacking case charged in Las Cruces. The defendant, a resident of Roswell, NM, pled guilty to two carjackings, conspiracy to carjack, and using firearms in relation to crimes of violence.

October 28, 2010.   Guilty plea in the case U.S. v. Gonzalez, a bank robbery case charged in Albuquerque. The defendant, a resident of El Paso, TX, pled guilty to robbing a bank in Albuquerque.

October 28, 2010.   Guilty plea entered in U.S. v. Phillips, a child pornography case charged in Albuquerque. The defendant, a resident of Edgewood, NM, pled guilty to receipt of child pornography.

October 28, 2010.   Announcement of indictments filed in the following cases: U.S. v. Armstrong; U.S. v. Harrison; U.S. v. Shirley; and U.S. v. Toledo.

October 26, 2010.   Initial appearance in U.S. v. Barela, 10-MJ-2767, a case alleging the distribution of child pornography by a Las Cruces man.

October 25, 2010.  U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales appoints AUSA Jonathon M. Gerson as District Election Officer for the District of New Mexico.

October 25, 2010.  Guilty plea in U.S. v. Martell, 10-CR-2918,  a federal firearms case.  The defendant pled guilty to an information charging him with making false statements to federally licensed firearms dealers.

October 22, 2010. Preliminary proceedings in  U.S. v. Atole, 10-MJ-2750,  an involuntary manslaughter case.  The defendant, a member of the Jicarilla Apache Tribe, is charged with a DUI-related vehicle homicide occurring on the Jicarilla Apache Indian Reservation.

October 21, 2010.  Sentencing in U.S. v. Percifull, Crim. No. 10-728 MCA, a bankruptcy fraud case.  The defendant was convicted of failing to disclose assets valued at approximately $54,000 in his bankruptcy petition; he was sentenced to 30 days in jail and five months home confinement with electronic monitoring; three years supervised release; and ordered to pay $16,969.73 in restitution to the victims of the bankruptcy fraud.

October 19, 2010 - “Operation Yé’iitsoh”

October 19, 2010 - United States v. Kevin Maurice Brooks and Stephanie Landon

October 15, 2010 - United States v. Matthew Nichols

October 13, 2010 - Healthcare Fraud Charges Filed in New Mexico

October 13, 2010 - DOJ Press Release on Healthcare Fraud Charges Filed Nationwide

October 13, 2010 - United States v. Jordan Earl Madison, Jr.

October 13, 2010 - United States v. David Rounbehler

October 8, 2010 - United States v. Michael Harrison

October 6, 2010 - United States v. Brian Thompson, Presley Shorty, Kelvin Augustine, and Byron Pahe

September 30, 2010 - United States v. Mark E. Hopkins and Sharon J. Hopkins

September 30, 2010 - United States v. Lucas Michael Ray Steven Toledo

September 29, 2010 - Operation Predator

September 28, 2010 - United States v. Craig Andrew Armstrong

September 17, 2010 - United States v. Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni and Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni

September 15, 2010 - United States v. Nathan Don Jack

September 14, 2010 - United States v. Norman Cleve Elquest

August 31, 2010 - United States v. Alex Maestas

August 30, 2010 - United States v. Robert A. Warren

August 23, 2010 - Arizona Fugitives Charged with Causing the Deaths of Oklahoma Couple

August 22, 2010 - United States v. Gilbert J. Turrieta

August 2, 2010 - Project Safe Childhood Enforcement Efforts Lead to Federal Child Exploitation Charges

July 23, 2010 - United States v. Jeremy Ray Conde and Tommy Peña

July 23, 2010 - United States v. Jeffrey Cruickshank, a/k/a Anthony Swett

July 22, 2010 - United States v. Gloria Vigil, Ashley Grey, and Angelica Ortega

July 22, 2010 - United States v. Alan Curtis Tukes

July 14, 2010 - Justice Department Announces Local Recipient of Annual Project Safe Neighborhoods Achievement Award

July 14, 2010 - United States v. Joseph Montes, and Deniece Sanchez-Montes, aka: Deniece Sanchez, aka: Deniece Romero, aka: Deniece Montes

June 28, 2010 - United States v. Paul N. DeSantis

June 28, 2010 - United States v. Toby Martinez

June 24, 2010 - United States v. Matthew Nichols

June 10 , 2010

June 3 , 2010 - United States v. Edward Christy

June 2 , 2010 - United States v. Edward Christy

June 2 , 2010 - United States v. Henry Jager

May 13 , 2010 - United States v. Jeremiah Jackson

Tribal Justice for the Week of May 10, 2010

May 5 , 2010

May 4 , 2010

Tribal Justice for the Week of May 3, 2010

April 30, 2010

Tribal Justice for the Week of April 26, 2010

Tribal Justice for the Week of April 19, 2010

April 15, 2010

Tribal Justice for the Week of April 12, 2010

Tribal Justice for the Week of April 5, 2010

Tribal Justice for the Week of March 29, 2010

Tribal Justice for the Week of March 22, 2010

March 16, 2010

Tribal Justice for the Week of March 15, 2010

Tribal Justice for the Week of March 8, 2010

March 5, 2010

Tribal Justice for the Week of March 1, 2010

Tribal Justice for the Week of February 22, 2010

February 19, 2010 – U.S. v. Linda Diaz

Tribal Justice for the Week of February 15, 2010

February 1, 2010 – U.S. v. David Joseph Dube

January 15, 2010 – U.S. v. Dixon Regan

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