Skip to main content
Press Release

California Man 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 – Edwin Rodriguez, 34, of Bell Gardens, Calif., pleaded guilty today to a heroin trafficking charge in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Rodriguez was arrested on a criminal complaint charging him with a heroin trafficking offense after the DEA seized 2.3 kilograms of heroin from him during an interdiction investigation at the Greyhound Bus Station in Albuquerque on Feb. 4, 2015.  The heroin was concealed in a false compartment in Rodriguez’s baggage.  Rodriguez was indicted on Feb. 25, 2015, and charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute.

During today’s proceedings, Rodriguez pled guilty to possession of heroin with intent to distribute and admitted that on Feb. 4, 2015, he possessed 2.3 kilograms of heroin, which he wrapped in bundles and concealed in his suitcase while traveling through Albuquerque on the Greyhound Bus.

At sentencing, Rodriguez faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.  A sentencing hearing 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 Shaheen P. Torgoley 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 and opioid trafficking organizations for investigation and prosecution is a priority of the HOPE Initiative.

Updated December 16, 2015