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Justice News

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

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Arizona Man Pleads Guilty to Methamphetamine Trafficking Charge in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – James Thomas Vance, 47, of Phoenix, Ariz., pled guilty this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a methamphetamine trafficking charge.

Vance was arrested in Sept. 2015, and charged by criminal complaint with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute after Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents discovered 969.16 grams of methamphetamine in Vance’s vehicle during a routine traffic stop.

Vance was subsequently indicted on Oct. 7, 2015, and charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute on Sept. 18, 2015, in Bernalillo County, N.M.

During today’s proceedings, Vance pled guilty to the indictment.  In entering the guilty plea, Vance admitted that on Sept. 18, 2015, when he was stopped on Interstate 40 for a traffic violation, he consented to have the officers search his vehicle.  The officers subsequently located 10.77 grams of methamphetamine in the driver’s door and approximately 958.39 grams of methamphetamine in the vehicle’s trunk.  Vance further admitted that he was driving from Phoenix to Bernalillo, N.M., and planned deliver the methamphetamine to other individuals.

At sentencing, Vance faces a statutory mandatory minimum of ten years and a maximum of life in federal prison.  Vance remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of HSI and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob Wishard.

Drug Trafficking
Updated June 30, 2016