Mexican national receives 41-Month prison sentence for cocaine trafficking conviction
ALBUQUERQUE – United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that, this morning, Senior United States District Judge John E. Conway sentenced Efren Corrales-Meza, 41,to a 41-month term of imprisonment based on his conviction for possession of more than five kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute. Corrales-Meza, a Mexican national, has been in custody since his arrest and will be deported after he completes his prison sentence.
According to the criminal complaint, on the morning of July 4, 2010, a New Mexico State Police (NMSP) officer arrested Corrales-Meza after finding more than ten kilograms of cocaine concealed in a hidden compartment in his pickup truck during a routine traffic stop for speeding. After issuing a traffic citation for speeding to Corrales-Meza, the NMSP officer asked and received Corrales-Meza's consent to a search of the pickup truck. During the search, the officer's drug canine alerted to the exterior of Corrales-Meza's truck. A further search revealed that the truck had a hidden compartment containing 10 brick-like objects containing a powder that tested positive for cocaine and weighed approximately ten kilograms. During a post-arrest interview, Corrales-Meza admitted that he agreed to drive the truck from Sonora, Mexico to Albuquerque, New Mexico and expected to be paid $2,000.00. Corrales-Meza also admitted knowing that the truck contained something illegal.
On October 8, 2010, Corrales-Meza entered a guilty plea to a one-count indictment charging him with possession of more than five kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute under a plea agreement with the United States Attorney's Office. In his plea agreement, Corrales-Meza admitted that he was transporting an illegal drug with the intention of transferring it to another person at the end of his trip.
Assistant United States Attorney Damon P. Martinez prosecuted this case, which was investigated by the NMSP and the Drug Enforcement Administration.