Las Cruces Man Pleads Guilty to Violating
Federal Narcotics and Firearms Laws
Plea Agreement Requires Imposition of 144-Month Prison Sentence
ALBUQUERQUE – John Wade Crist, 57, of Las Cruces, N.M., pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to methamphetamine trafficking and firearms charges. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Crist will be sentenced to 144 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.
Crist was arrested on Nov. 15, 2013, and a two-count indictment charging him with distribution of methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to the indictment, Crist distributed methamphetamine and possessed a firearm in Doña Ana County, N.M., on June 19, 2013. At the time, Crist was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of two narcotics trafficking offenses.
During yesterday’s plea hearing, Crist entered a guilty plea to the indictment. In his plea agreement, Crist admitted selling 23.3 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover officer who was posing as a drug dealer on June 19, 2013, in Doña Ana County. Crist also admitted that on that same date, he possessed a shotgun and sold the firearm to the undercover officer.
Crist has been in federal custody since his arrest. He remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Y. Armijo of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.