Artesia Man Sentenced to Prison for Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking Conviction
ALBUQUERQUE – Charles Edward Gist, 56, of Artesia, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 21 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for his conviction on methamphetamine trafficking charges.
Gist and co-defendant Jose Alfredo Villa, 35, of Lake Arthur, N.M., were arrested in Sept. 2015, on an indictment charging them with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from Nov. 17, 2014 through Nov. 20, 2014, and distribution of methamphetamine on Nov. 20, 2014. Villa was also charged with distribution of methamphetamine on Dec. 10, 2014. According to the indictment, the defendants committed the crimes in Eddy County, N.M.
Gist pled guilty on April 1, 2016, to a felony information charging him with conspiracy and distribution of methamphetamine. In entering the guilty plea, Gist admitted that he conspired with Villa and others to distribute methamphetamine from Nov. 17, 2014 through Nov. 20, 2014. Villa further admitted that on Nov. 20, 2014, he agreed to sell 56 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover law enforcement officer.
On April 13, 2016, Villa pled guilty to a felony information charging him with conspiracy and two counts of distribution of methamphetamine. In entering the guilty plea, Villa admitted to conspiring with Gist and others to distribute methamphetamine in Nov. 2014. Villa admitted supplying the methamphetamine that was distributed to an undercover law enforcement officer on Nov. 20, 2014. He also admitted distributing 51 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover law enforcement officer on Dec. 10, 2014. At sentencing, Villa faces a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison. Villa remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Y. Armijo of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Las Cruces Branch Office is prosecuting the case.