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Justice News

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

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Anthony, N.M., Man Sentenced to Almost Eleven Years for Violating Federal Firearms and Narcotics Laws

ALBUQUERQUE – Abel Romero, 31, of Anthony, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 131 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for violating the federal firearms and narcotics laws.  Romero was sentenced based on a guilty plea entered on Dec. 5, 2013.

Romero and co-defendants, Jaime Cano, 31, of El Paso, Texas, and Victor Cano, 31, of Anthony, N.M., were arrested in May 2013, on a criminal complaint charging them with drug trafficking and firearms offenses.  The three co-defendants subsequently were indicted on Aug. 14, 2013, in a ten-count indictment.  Counts 1, 2 and 3 charged Romero, Victor Cano and Jaime Cano with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and distribution of cocaine in Doña Ana County, N.M., between Feb. 5, 2013 and Feb. 19, 2013.

The remaining seven counts of the indictment charged Romero with violating the federal narcotics and firearms laws.  Counts 5, 7 and 9 charged Romero with distributing cocaine on three occasions between Feb. 11, 2013 and Feb. 19, 2013.  Counts 6, 8 and 10 charged Romero with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition on four dates in Feb. 2013.  At the time, Romero was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of aggravated assault, distribution of marijuana, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

According to court filings, Romero sold ounce quantities of cocaine and firearms and ammunition to an individual working with law enforcement on four separate dates in Feb. 2013. Romero obtained the cocaine with the help of Victor Cano and Jaime Cano.

Romero pled guilty to all ten counts of the indictment on Dec. 5, 2013. In entering the guilty plea, Romero admitted that from Feb. 5, 2013 through Feb. 19, 2013, he obtained quantities of cocaine from a source of supply and sold the cocaine to another person.  Romero admitted receiving and selling an aggregate of 154.5 grams of cocaine to the buyer during this time period.  Romero also admitted that during this time he unlawfully possessed a number of firearms and ammunition knowing that as a result of his prior felony conviction of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon he could not lawfully possess firearms.

On Nov. 7, 2013, Jaime Cano and Victor Cano each pled guilty to Counts 2 and 3 of the indictment.  Each admitted to conspiring with the other to distribute quantities of cocaine to Romero.  Victor Cano was sentenced on Mar. 6, 2014, to 37 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.  Jaime Cano was sentenced on June 4, 2014, to 40 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. 

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the FBI and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah M. Davenport and Shaheen P. Torgoley of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.

Updated February 12, 2015