Albuquerque Man Sentenced to 135 Months for Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking Conviction
Defendant Prosecuted Under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative
ALBUQUERQUE – Michael Stewart, 56, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced today to 135 months in federal prison followed by a seven-year term of supervised release for his methamphetamine trafficking conviction. In a related civil case, a federal judge previously entered an order forfeiting to the United States $25,370.00 in drug proceeds that were seized from Stewart when he was arrested.
Stewart, whose lengthy criminal history includes felony convictions for cocaine and methamphetamine trafficking, robbery, kidnapping and theft, was prosecuted as part of the federal “worst of the worst” anti-violence initiative. Under this initiative, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal law enforcement agencies work with New Mexico’s District Attorneys and state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to target violent or repeat offenders primarily based on their prior felony convictions for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible. Because New Mexico’s violent crime rates, on a per capita basis, are amongst the highest in the nation, New Mexico’s law enforcement community is collaborating to target repeat offenders from counties with the highest violent crime rates, including Bernalillo County, under this initiative.
Stewart was arrested on Feb. 19, 2015, after DEA task force officers seized 611.9 gross grams of methamphetamine and more than $25,000.00 in cash from him and his vehicle during a traffic stop in northwest Albuquerque. Stewart was subsequently indicted on the same charge on March 10, 2015.
On Jan. 20, 2016, Stewart pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that on Feb. 18, 2015, he was in possession of 543.3 grams of actual methamphetamine which he intended to distribute to others.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque offices of the DEA and Homeland Security Investigations and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, and was prosecuted by the Organized Crime Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Kotz handled the civil forfeiture proceedings.