News and Press Releases

Mexican National Sentenced to Ten Years for Conviction
on Federal Drug Trafficking, Firearms and Immigration
Charges and for Violating Supervised Release

Aranda-Diaz Prosecuted as Part of
“Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE – Yuren Aranda-Diaz, 38, a Mexican national illegally in the United States, was sentenced this morning to 111 months in federal prison for his conviction on drug trafficking, firearms charges and immigration charges.  Aranda-Diaz also was sentenced to 18 months in prison, including 12 to be served consecutive to the 111-month prison term, for violating his supervised release on a prior federal conviction, for an aggregate prison sentence of 123 months.  Aranda-Diaz will be deported after completing his prison sentence.

Aranda-Diaz was arrested in Oct. 2012, on a criminal complaint charging him with drug trafficking, firearms and immigration offenses after he sold heroin to an informant of the Albuquerque Police Department.  Thereafter, Aranda-Diaz was indicted and charged with (1) being an alien in possession of a firearm; (2) being a felon in possession of a firearm; (3) possession of heroin with intent to distribute; (4) distribution of heroin; (5) using and carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime; and (6) unlawful re-entry into the United States after previously having been deported. 

According to court filings, in Oct. 2012, Aranda-Diaz was prohibited from possessing firearms because he was an alien illegally in the United States.  He also was prohibited from possessing firearms because he previously had been convicted of the felony offenses of re-entry by a deported alien on two occasions, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and being an alien in possession of a firearm in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico.   He also previously had been convicted for possession of cocaine in the 2nd Judicial District Court for the State of New Mexico.

On the morning of July 24, 2013, Aranda-Diaz entered guilty pleas to Counts 1, 2 and 6 of the indictment, charging him with being an alien in possession of a firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and unlawfully entering the United States.  Immediately after entering his guilty pleas, Aranda-Diaz proceeded to trial on Counts 3, 4 and 5 of the indictment, charging him with possession of heroin with intent to distribute, distribution of heroin, and using a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime.  On July 26, 2013, the jury returned a verdict finding Aranda-Diaz guilty on all three counts.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Albuquerque Police Department and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David M. Walsh and Novaline D. Wilson.

Aranda-Diaz was prosecuted as part of a federal anti-violence initiative that targets “the worst of the worst” offenders for federal prosecution.  Under this initiative, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal law enforcement agencies work with New Mexico’s District Attorneys and state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to target violent or repeat offenders for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.

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