Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking and Firearms Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – Charles Padilla, 46, of Albuquerque, N.M., pleaded guilty today to federal methamphetamine trafficking and firearms charges. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Padilla will be sentenced to 15 years in federal prison followed by a term of not less than five years of supervised release.
Padilla was arrested on Nov. 30, 2012, based on a criminal complaint charging him with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Padilla subsequently was indicted in Dec. 2012, and charged with two counts of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and two counts of using and carrying firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes.
According to court filings, on Nov. 30, 2012, law enforcement officers seized approximately 21 pounds of methamphetamine that were concealed in an underground storage area when they searched a residence located in southwest Albuquerque. Thereafter, officers surreptitiously recorded a telephone conversation during which Padilla acknowledged ownership of the methamphetamine. Following Padilla’s arrest, officers searched his residence and seized 19 firearms.
Today Padilla pled guilty to one methamphetamine trafficking count and one firearms count. In his plea agreement, Padilla admitted that on Nov. 30, 2012, he unlawfully possessed methamphetamine with the intention of distributing it to others. He also admitted possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Padilla was remanded into federal custody after entering his guilty plea. He will be detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the DEA and the Albuquerque Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jack E. Burkhead and Shana B. Long.