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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 8, 2016

Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Heroin Trafficking Charge

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Christopher Craig, 26, of Albuquerque, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court to a federal heroin trafficking charge.

Craig was arrested in Feb. 2016, on a criminal complaint charging that he possessed heroin with intention of distributing it on Feb. 17, 2016, in Sandoval County, N.M.  According to the complaint, Craig attempted to sell approximately 205.8 grams of heroin to law enforcement officers.  At the time of his arrest, Craig was on supervised release for a prior conviction for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime from 2010.  Craig was subsequently indicted on March 8, 2016, on the same charge. 

During today’s proceedings, Craig pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that on Feb. 17, 2016, he arranged to sell a half pound of heroin in exchange for $5,000.  Craig further admitted that when he met with the purchaser he was arrested and found to be in possession of 205.8 grams of heroin. 

At sentencing, Craig faces a minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison.  According to the plea agreement, Craig’s sentence will run concurrent to the sentence he will receive on the supervised release violation for his prior conviction.  Craig remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated the Albuquerque office of the FBI and the New Mexico State Police.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Presiliano Torrez is prosecuting the case pursuant to 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 the DEA, the Bernalillo County Opioid Accountability Initiative, Healing Addiction in our Community (HAC), the Albuquerque Public Schools 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.

Topic: 
Drug Trafficking
Updated September 8, 2016