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Justice News

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

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Arizona Woman Arrested on Federal Narcotics Trafficking Charges

Case Prosecuted as Part of HOPE Initiative which Seeks to Reduce the Number of Opioid-Related Deaths in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Bethzabeth Guadalupe Castro-Gallegos, 32, of Phoenix, Ariz., made her initial appearance this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., on a criminal complaint charging her with possession of methamphetamine and heroin with intent to distribute.  Castro-Gallegos remains in federal custody pending a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing which are scheduled for tomorrow.

Castro-Gallegos was arrested yesterday after DEA agents allegedly seized approximately 5.28 pounds of methamphetamine and 4.84 pounds of heroin from her baggage during a consensual search at the Amtrak Train Station in Albuquerque.

If convicted on the charges in the criminal complaint, Castro-Gallegos faces a statutory minimum penalty of ten years and a maximum of life in federal prison.  Charges in criminal complaints are merely accusations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by the Interdiction Unit of the DEA’s Albuquerque office which focuses on disrupting the flow of narcotics, weapons, and the proceeds of illegal activities as they are smuggled into or through New Mexico in passenger buses, passenger trains, commercial vehicles and automobiles.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly A. Brawley is prosecuting 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 June 10, 2015