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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Albuquerque man pleads guilty to drug trafficking and illegal firearms possession

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Richard “Fat Jesus” Wheeler, 38, of Albuquerque, pleaded guilty in federal court on Feb. 10 to an indictment charging him with three counts of distribution of 50 grams and more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine, two counts of using and carrying a firearm during, in relation to, and in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, one count of possession with intent to distribute 40 grams and more of a mixture and substance containing fentanyl and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.  Wheeler will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

A federal grand jury indicted Wheeler on August 25, 2021. According to the plea agreement and other court records, on July 16, 2021, Wheeler, who was armed with a Glock pistol, sold 112.6 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover law enforcement officer for $1,200. On July 19, 2021, Wheeler sold 205.8 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover officer for $2,000. On July 22, 2021, Wheeler sold 454.6 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover officer for $4,000.

On July 27, 2021, the New Mexico State Police arrested Wheeler and searched his vehicle. Police found two loaded firearms, approximately 1,500 fentanyl pills and $4,000 in cash. In his plea agreement, Wheeler admitted that he intended to sell the fentanyl pills and that he possessed the firearms in relation to drug trafficking.

By the terms of the plea agreement, Wheeler faces 15 to 17 years in prison.

The FBI’s Albuquerque Violent Crime Gang Task Force (VCGTF) investigated this case with assistance from the New Mexico State Police. Assistant United States Attorneys Jaymie L. Roybal and Alexander Uballez are prosecuting the case.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 
22-32
Updated February 15, 2022