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Press Release

Albuquerque man charged in drug, firearms investigation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced today that Gerardo Rafael Lara-Yanez was charged in federal court with intent to distribute 400 grams and more of fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute 50 grams and more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine, conspiracy, being a felon in possession of a firearm, being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm, and possession of firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Lara-Yanez, 24, of Albuquerque, will remain in custody pending trial, which has not been scheduled.

According to the complaint, in October the FBI Violent Gangs Task Force (VGTF) were investigating Jeffrey Alan Chavez, 35, of Albuquerque, for overseeing drug sales from at least three drug houses in southeast Albuquerque. Chavez allegedly employed Lara-Yanez to run one of the drug houses. In November, an FBI undercover employee (UCE) made contact with Lara-Yanez and Chavez, and Chavez allegedly indicated he could supply methamphetamine and fentanyl. The UCE met Lara-Yanez and Chavez at a drug house, where they allegedly provided 141.4 grams of methamphetamine and 550.1 grams of fentanyl pills in exchange for $9,250. During the transaction, Lara-Yanez allegedly handled multiple firearms, including a short-barreled shotgun and multiple pistols.

Lara-Yanez was arrested on Dec. 12. A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Lara-Yanez faces a minimum of ten years and up to life in prison.

Chavez is charged with possession with intent to distribute 400 grams and more of fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute 50 grams and more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine, conspiracy, being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm, and possession of firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Chavez will remain in custody pending trial, which has not been scheduled.

Assistant United States Attorney Paul J. Mysliwiec is prosecuting the case.

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Updated December 15, 2022

Topics
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Release Number: 22-279