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Press Release

Arizona Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Heroin Trafficking Charge 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 – Janette Marline Montero, 21, of Glendale, Ariz., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a heroin trafficking charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Montero was arrested on Aug. 5, 2015, at the Greyhound Bus Station in Albuquerque after DEA agents found almost nine pounds of heroin in her baggage.  Montero was indicted on Aug. 25, 2015, and charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute.

During today’s proceedings, Montero pled guilty to a felony information and admitted carrying heroin in her suitcase on Aug. 5, 2015, while she was at the Greyhound Bus Station in Albuquerque.  Montero acknowledged that law enforcement officers found the heroin after she gave them consent to search her suitcase.  Montero admitted that she was transporting the heroin with the intention of distributing it in Chicago, Ill., and that she would get paid for delivering the heroin.

 At sentencing, Montero faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.  Montero is in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

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 David M. Walsh 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 September 8, 2015