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Press Release

Arizona Man Sentenced to 70 Months for Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking Conviction in New Mexico

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Ricardo Salcido, 29, of Avondale, Ariz., was sentenced today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 70 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for his methamphetamine trafficking conviction.

Salcido and his co-defendant Jonathan Benitez-Tirado, 22, of Phoenix, Ariz., were arrested on Oct. 9, 2014, on a criminal complaint charging them with conspiracy and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute on Sept. 10, 2014, in Luna County, N.M.  According to the criminal complaint, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents initiated surveillance of a vehicle driven by Salcido after receiving information that he was helping Benitez-Tirado transport 3.5 pounds of methamphetamine to Deming, N.M.  During a traffic stop, HSI agents discovered three bags of crystal methamphetamine weighing approximately 1.34 kilograms (three pounds) under the spare tire of the vehicle driven by Salcido. 

On April 9, 2015, Salcido pleaded guilty to a felony information charging him with conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  In entering the guilty plea, Salcido admitted that from Sept. 3 to 10, 2014, he conspired with Benitez-Tirado to transport approximately 1.34 kilograms of methamphetamine to a pre-arranged location and distribute the methamphetamine to another individual.

Benitez-Tirado also pled guilty to the same charges on April 9, 2015.  At sentencing, Benitez-Tirado faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison followed by not less than three years of supervised release.  He remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Deming and Phoenix offices of HSI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Luis A. Martinez of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.

Updated March 16, 2016

Drug Trafficking