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Press Release

Arizona Man Arrested in New Mexico Based on DEA Seizure of More than Ten Pounds of Heroin

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Jose Andres Ramirez, 24, of Phoenix, Ariz., made his initial appearance today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., on a criminal complaint charging him with possessing more than ten pounds of heroin with intent to distribute.  Ramirez remains in federal custody pending a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing scheduled for April 11, 2016.

Ramirez was arrested yesterday after the DEA allegedly found 4.85 gross kilograms (10.69 pounds) of heroin concealed in his luggage at the Greyhound Bus Station in Albuquerque.

If convicted of the charge in the criminal complaint, Ramirez faces a statutory penalty of a mandatory minimum of ten years and a maximum of life in federal prison.  Charges in criminal complaint are merely accusations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the DEA and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rumaldo Armijo.

The New Mexico Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (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 Bernalillo County, the Albuquerque City Council, DEA, Healing Addiction in our Community (HAC) 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 April 8, 2016

Drug Trafficking