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Press Release

Arizona Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Violating Federal Narcotics Trafficking Laws in New Mexico

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Jorge Antonio Rangel, 36, of Phoenix, Ariz., was sentenced today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 63 months in prison for his narcotics trafficking conviction.  Rangel will be on supervised release for four years following his incarceration.

Rangel was arrested in Nov. 2014, and charged by criminal complaint with possession of heroin and methamphetamine with intent to distribute to Oct. 23, 2014, in Hidalgo County, N.M.  According to the complaint, on Oct. 23, 2014, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on Rangel’s vehicle and seized approximately four pounds of methamphetamine and two ounces of heroin. Rangel was subsequently indicted on the same charges on March 18, 2015.

On June 24, 2015, Rangel pled guilty to a felony information charging him with possession of methamphetamine and heroin with intent to distribute.  In entering the guilty plea, Rangel admitted that on Oct. 23, 2014, he was stopped by law enforcement officers for speeding in Lordsburg, N.M., and during a search of his vehicle pursuant to a search warrant, the officers found approximately 4 pounds of methamphetamine and two ounces of heroin.  Rangel admitted that he intended to deliver the methamphetamine and heroin to another person. 

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Lordsburg Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Anna R. Wright of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office prosecuted the case.

This case is being prosecuted pursuant to the New Mexico Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative.  The HOPE Initiative is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center that is partnering with the Bernalillo County Opioid Accountability Initiative with the overriding goal of reducing the number of opioid-related deaths in the District of New Mexico.  The HOPE Initiative comprised of five components:  (1) prevention and education; (2) treatment; (3) law enforcement; (4) reentry; and (5) strategic planning.  The law enforcement component of the HOPE Initiative 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 trafficking organizations for investigation and prosecution is a priority of the HOPE Initiative.

Updated January 12, 2016