Arizona Man Sentenced to Ten Years for Federal Cocaine Trafficking Conviction in New Mexico
Conviction Arises out of 148-Pound Cocaine and 10.5-Pound Fentanyl Seizure at Lordsburg Port of Entry on Sept. 9, 2016 by HSI and New Mexico State Police
ALBUQUERQUE – Jesus Quiroz, 36, of Tucson, Ariz., was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 120 months in prison for his conviction on a cocaine trafficking charge arising out of the seizure of 148 pounds of cocaine and 10.5 pounds of fentanyl at the New Mexico Port of Entry near Lordsburg, N.M., on Sept. 9, 2016. Quiroz will be on supervised release for five years after completing his prison sentence.
Quiroz was arrested on Sept. 9, 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in Hidalgo County, N.M. According to the complaint, Quiroz was arrested after New Mexico State Police officers at the New Mexico Port of Entry on Interstate 10 in Lordsburg seized 63 individually wrapped packages containing what officers then believed to be 72 kilograms of cocaine from a tractor and trailer in which Quiroz was traveling. At the time of his arrest, Quiroz was on probation for a state cocaine trafficking conviction in Arizona.
Quiroz subsequently was indicted on Dec. 14, 2016, and was charged in a two-count indictment with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and possession of visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Quiroz was charged with committing the crimes on Sept. 9, 2016, in Hidalgo County.
On Jan. 18, 2017, Quiroz pled guilty to Count 1 of the indictment charging him with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. In entering the guilty plea, Quiroz admitted that on Sept. 9, 2016, he drove a commercial vehicle containing approximately 72 kilograms of cocaine into the Lordsburg, New Mexico Port of Entry. Quiroz further admitted that he intended to deliver the cocaine to another person.
Court records indicate that, after Quiroz entered his guilty plea, laboratory tests performed on the drugs seized from Quiroz’s tractor-trailer revealed that the drugs consisted of approximately 67.26 kilograms of cocaine and 4.84 kilograms of fentanyl.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the New Mexico State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brock Taylor of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office prosecuted the case.