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Press Release

Albuquerque trio facing drug, weapons charges after FBI bust

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced today that Jeffrey Alan Chavez and Estevan Antonio Ramirez appeared in federal court facing drug trafficking and firearms charges. They will remain detained pending preliminary and detention hearings scheduled for Dec. 12.

Chavez, 35, of Albuquerque, is charged with possession with intent to distribute 400 grams and more of fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute 50 grams and more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine, conspiracy, being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm, and possession of firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Ramirez, 18, of Albuquerque, is charged with possession with intent to distribute alprazolam (Xanax), being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm, possession of machineguns, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

A third defendant, Gerardo Rafael “Alex” Lara-Yanez, 24, of Albuquerque, is currently wanted for arrest.

According to criminal complaints filed in court, in October the FBI Violent Gangs Task Force (VGTF) were investigating Chavez for overseeing drug sales from at least three drug houses in southeast Albuquerque. Chavez allegedly employed Lara-Yanez to run one of the drug houses. In November, an FBI undercover employee (UCE) made contact with Chavez and Lara-Yanez, and Chavez allegedly indicated he could supply methamphetamine and fentanyl. The UCE met Chavez and Lara-Yanez at a drug house, where they allegedly provided 141.4 grams of methamphetamine and 550.1 grams of fentanyl pills in exchange for $9,250. During the transaction, Lara-Yanez allegedly handled multiple firearms, including a short-barreled shotgun and multiple pistols.

Later in November, the UCE communicated with Chavez to request a pound of methamphetamine. Chavez allegedly agreed to supply a pound of methamphetamine, as well as additional fentanyl pills because the earlier amount sold had been short. The UCE met Chavez at a local restaurant to complete the transaction. However, Chavez allegedly arrived with the wrong order, instead bringing eight ounces of methamphetamine and 8,000 fentanyl pills. Chavez allegedly sold the methamphetamine and fentanyl pills to the UCE for $2,690.

On Dec. 7, the FBI along with the New Mexico State Police, Albuquerque Police Department, and Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office executed seven federal search warrants. One of the premises searched was an apartment on High Street SE in Albuquerque, where agents located Ramirez in his bedroom. In the bedroom, agents found 1,312 Xanax tablets, two machineguns, 11 full-automatic selector switches, 4 full-automatic drop-in auto sear devices, several high-capacity ammunition magazines, drug packaging materials and $3,000 in U.S. currency.

A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Assistant United States Attorney Paul J. Mysliwiec is prosecuting the case.

Wanted by the FBI: Gerardo Rafael “Alex” Lara-Yanez

Race: Hispanic

Age: 24

Height: 6'1

Weight: 150 pounds

Eyes: Brown

Hair: Black

Tattoos on forearms

Last known address: 8100 block Kathryn Street SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108

Vehicles:

Silver 2009 Audi 4 door, NM 22T-059274

White 2003 lnfini 4 door, NM ARHR09

Caution: Should be considered armed and dangerous

Anyone with information on this suspect’s whereabouts is asked to immediately contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

Gerardo Rafael “Alex” Lara-Yanez is charged in a federal criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute 400 grams and more of fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute 50 grams and more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine, conspiracy, being a felon in possession of a firearm, being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm, and possession of firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

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Updated December 9, 2022

Topics
Violent Crime
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 22-274