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Justice News

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

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Arizona Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Trafficking Charges in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Esmeralda Dominguez, 33, of Glendale, Ariz., pled guilty today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to methamphetamine trafficking charges.

Dominguez and co-defendant Frank Lara, 45, of Albuquerque, N.M., were charged by criminal complaint in July 2017, with methamphetamine trafficking offenses.  According to the complaint, Dominguez and Lara distributed approximately 56.09 grams of 99% pure methamphetamine to an individual working with law enforcement on July 15, 2016, in Dona Ana County, N.M.

Dominguez and Lara subsequently were charged in a two-count indictment filed on Oct. 19, 2017, with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from July 14, 2016 through July 15, 2016, and distribution of methamphetamine on July 15, 2016.  According to the indictment, the offenses took place in Dona Ana County.

During today’s proceedings, Dominguez pled guilty to the charges in the indictment without the benefit of a plea agreement.  At sentencing, she faces a mandatory minimum penalty of ten years and a maximum of life in federal prison.  A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

Lara has entered a plea of not guilty the charges against him.  Charges in criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with assistance from the DEA and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Luis A. Martinez.

Drug Trafficking
Updated February 21, 2018