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Justice News

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

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Albuquerque Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Oxycodone Trafficking Charges

Defendant Prosecuted as Part of HOPE Initiative which Seeks to Reduce the Number of Opioid-Related Deaths in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Crystal Staggs, 53, of Albuquerque, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court to Oxycodone trafficking charges. Under the terms of her plea agreement, Staggs will be sentenced to 63 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

Staggs was arrested on Aug. 28, 2012, on a criminal complaint charging her with distributing and attempting to distribute Oxycodone to an undercover DEA agent on four occasions from June 13, 2012 through Aug. 28, 2012, in Bernalillo County, N.M.  According to the complaint, Staggs sold Oxycodone to the undercover agent as follows:  48 30-mg Oxycodone pills and four 15-mg Oxycodone pills for $1,000.00 on June 13, 2012; 100 30-mg Oxycodone pills for $1,800.00 on June 27, 2012; and 87 30-mg Oxycodone pills and six 15-mg Oxycodone pills for $1,800.00.  Staggs was arrested on Aug. 28, 2012, when she attempted to sell 100 30-mg Oxycodone pills to the undercover agent; the pills were in her possession when she was arrested.

In Sept. 2012, Staggs was indicted and charged with three counts of distribution of Oxycodone and one count of possession of Oxycodone with intent to distribute.

During today’s change of plea hearing, Staggs pled guilty to the four-count indictment and admitted to distributing an aggregate of 10.2 grams of Oxycodone to an undercover DEA agent from June 13, 2012 through Aug.28, 2012.

 This case was investigated by the Tactical Diversion Squad of the DEA’s Albuquerque office and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shammara Henderson.  DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squads combine DEA resources with those of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in an innovative effort to investigate, disrupt and dismantle those suspected of violating the Controlled Substances Act or other appropriate federal, state or local statutes pertaining to the diversion of licit pharmaceutical controlled substances or listed chemicals.

This case is being prosecuted pursuant to the New Mexico Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative.  The HOPE Initiative is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center that is partnering with the Bernalillo County Opioid Accountability Initiative with the overriding goal of reducing the number of opioid-related deaths in the District of New Mexico.  The HOPE Initiative comprised of five components:  (1) prevention and education; (2) treatment; (3) law enforcement; (4) reentry; and (5) strategic planning.  The law enforcement component of the HOPE Initiative 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 trafficking organizations for investigation and prosecution is a priority of the HOPE Initiative.

Updated April 8, 2015