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Press Release

Albuquerque Man Sentenced to 70 Months for Federal Heroin Trafficking and Firearms Conviction

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of HOPE Initiative which Seeks to Reduce the Number of Opioid-Related Deaths in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Ruben Bustillos-Pacheco, 22, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced this morning in federal court in Santa Fe, N.M., to 70 months of imprisonment for his conviction on drug trafficking and firearms charges.  Bustillos-Pacheco will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.

The DEA arrested Bustillos-Pacheco in Dec. 2015, on a criminal complaint charging him with heroin trafficking and firearms offenses.  According to the complaint, DEA agents seized four firearms, including an AR-15 style rifle, multiple rounds of ammunition, approximately 412.2 grams of heroin, drug paraphernalia, and cash in Bustillos-Pacheco’s residence during the execution of a search warrant.

Bustillos-Pacheco subsequently was indicted on Dec. 17, 2015, and was charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  According to the indictment, Bustillos-Pacheco committed the offenses on Dec. 9, 2015, in Bernalillo County, N.M.

On May 1, 2017, Bustillos-Pacheco pled guilty to a felony information charging him with possession of heroin with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  In entering the guilty plea, Bustillos-Pacheco admitted that on Dec. 9, 2015, he possessed three firearms, including one which had been reported stolen, and approximately 382 grams of heroin.  Bustillos-Pacheco acknowledged that he possessed the firearms for protection of his heroin trafficking activities. 

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the DEA and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shaheen P. Torgoley 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 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

Updated February 22, 2018

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime