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Justice News

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

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Heroin Trafficking Charge

Case Prosecuted as Part of HOPE Initiative which Seeks to Reduce the Number of Opioid-Related Deaths in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Ramon Phillip Baca, 44, of Albuquerque, N.M., pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to a heroin trafficking charge.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Baca will be sentenced to 57 months in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

Baca was indicted on Dec. 1, 2015, and charged with distributing heroin on May 20, 2015 and June 16, 2015, in Bernalillo County, N.M.

During yesterday’s proceedings, Baca pled guilty to one count of heroin distribution and admitted that on June 16, 2015, he met with an individual who, unbeknownst to him was working with law enforcement, with the intention of selling him approximately 47.231 grams of heroin in exchange for $1,300.  Baca remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled. 

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Shana B. Long is prosecuting the case as part of the New Mexico Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative.

The HOPE Initiative was launched in January 2015 by the UNM Health Sciences Center and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in response to the national opioid epidemic which has had a disproportionately devastating impact on New Mexico.  Opioid addiction has taken a toll on public safety, public health and the economic viability of our communities.  Working in partnership with Bernalillo County, DEA, Healing Addiction in our Community (HAC) and other community stakeholders, HOPE’s principal goals are to protect our communities from the dangers associated with heroin and opioid painkillers and reducing the number of opioid-related deaths in New Mexico. 

The HOPE Initiative is comprised of five components:  (1) prevention and education; (2) treatment; (3) law enforcement; (4) reentry; and (5) strategic planning.  HOPE’s law enforcement component is led by the Organized Crime Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA in conjunction with their federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners.  Targeting members of major heroin and opioid trafficking organizations for investigation and prosecution is a priority of the HOPE Initiative.  Learn more about the New Mexico HOPE Initiative at http://www.HopeInitiativeNM.org.

Drug Trafficking
Updated May 4, 2016