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Press Release

Arizona Man Sentenced for Trafficking Methamphetamine in New Mexico

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Emery Lee Begay, 32, of Lakeside, Ariz., was sentenced this afternoon in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 60 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction on conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Socorro and Catron Counties, N.M.

Begay and his co-defendant Jorge Luis Garcia-Valenzuela, 22, a Mexican national residing in Lakeside, Ariz., were arrested on Oct. 25, 2014, after they traveled to Quemado, N.M., with the intention of selling methamphetamine and marijuana to undercover officers.  According to the complaint, on Aug. 19, 2015, Begay delivered approximately 22.6 grams of methamphetamine and approximately three kilograms of marijuana to the undercover officers in Socorro, N.M., after Garcia-Valenzuela allegedly negotiated the drug deal with the officers.  The complaint also alleges that Garcia-Valenzuela and Begay were arrested on Oct. 25, 2014, in Quemado when they arrived to consummate a drug deal with the undercover officers.  The officers allegedly seized approximately 800 grams of methamphetamine and more than eight kilograms of marijuana when they arrested the two men.

Begay and Garcia-Valenzuela were subsequently indicted on Nov. 19, 2014, and charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana, distribution of methamphetamine and marijuana, and possession of methamphetamine and marijuana with intent to distribute.  According to the indictment, the offenses were committed between Aug. 19, 2014 and Oct. 25, 2014, in Socorro and Catron Counties.

On May 21, 2015, Begay pled guilty to a felony information charging him with conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

Garcia-Valenzuela entered a guilty plea on June 19, 2015, to a felony information charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possess methamphetamine.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Garcia-Valenzuela will be sentenced to 100 months in prison and will be deported following his term of incarceration.  His sentencing hearing is currently scheduled for Sept. 24, 2015.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque and Gallup offices of the FBI, the Southern Pueblos Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and the Ramah Navajo Tribal Police Department, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine Y. Ramirez.

Updated August 20, 2015