Arizona Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Heroin Trafficking Charge in New Mexico
Case Prosecuted as Part of HOPE Initiative which Seeks to Reduce the Number of Opioid-Related Deaths in New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE – Rodolfo Rene Ley, 25, of Phoenix, Ariz., pled guilty this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to trafficking heroin in New Mexico.
Ley was arrested at the Amtrak Train Station in Albuquerque on May 13, 2016, after the DEA found approximately one kilogram of heroin in three clear plastic wrapped bundles under Ley’s clothing during an interdiction investigation.
Ley was subsequently indicted on May 25, 2016, and charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute on May 13, 2016, in Bernalillo County, N.M. During today’s proceedings, Ley pled guilty to the indictment. In his plea agreement, Ley admitted that he voluntarily consented to have a DEA agent search him at the Amtrak Train Station in Albuquerque on May 13, 2016. During the search, the agent discovered oblong bundles containing heroin in Ley’s jeans.
At sentencing, Ley faces a statutory mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in federal prison. He remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the DEA. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eva Fontanez is prosecuting the case 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 http://www.HopeInitiativeNM.org.