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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 28, 2016

Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Meth Trafficking Charge

Defendant was One of the 104 Individuals Federally Charged as a Result of ATF-Led Investigation Pursued in Support of Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – Willie Griffin, 44, of Albuquerque, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court to a methamphetamine trafficking charge.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Griffin will be sentenced to five years in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

Griffin and his co-defendant Gonzalo Revet, 48, also of Albuquerque, were arrested during an ATF-led investigation that resulted in the filing of 59 federal indictments and one federal criminal complaint charging 104 Bernalillo County residents with federal firearms and narcotics trafficking offenses.  The investigation began in mid-April 2016, when ATF personnel from throughout the country joined forces with federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies in New Mexico to combat the high rate of violent crime in the Albuquerque metropolitan area.  The investigators utilized a number of investigative techniques, including undercover operations, historical investigation and targeting of multi-convicted felons in possession of firearms.

The investigation was undertaken in support 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 collaborate with New Mexico’s District Attorneys and state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to target violent or repeat offenders for federal prosecution primarily based on their prior criminal convictions with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.

Griffin was arrested on an indictment charging him with distribution of methamphetamine on April 27, 2016 and May 2, 2016.  The indictment was subsequently superseded on July 28, 2016, charging Griffin and Revet with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine between April 2016 and July 2016, and distributing methamphetamine on April 27, 2016 and May 2, 2016. 

During today’s change of plea hearing, Griffin entered a guilty plea to distributing methamphetamine, and admitted that on May 2, 2016, he distributed more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.  Griffin remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

Revet has entered a plea of not guilty to the superseding indictment.  Revet is currently scheduled for trial in Dec. 2016. 

To date, 12 of the 104 defendants charged as a result of the ATF investigation have entered guilty pleas.  The remaining defendants have entered not guilty pleas.  Charges in indictments are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.

The case was investigated by the Albuquerque offices of ATF and DEA, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Cairns.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated November 28, 2016