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Press Release

California Man Pleads Guilty to 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 – Raul Fernandez, Jr., 29, of Simi Valley, 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.

Fernandez was arrested on a criminal complaint charging him with possession of heroin with intent to distribute after the DEA seized approximately two kilograms (4.4 pounds) of heroin from him during an interdiction investigation at the Amtrak Train Station in Albuquerque on Oct. 19, 2015.  The heroin was concealed in a false compartment in Fernandez’s luggage.  Fernandez was indicted on the same charge on Nov. 17, 2015.

During today’s proceedings, Fernandez pled guilty to a felony information charging him with possession of heroin with intent to distribute and admitted that on Oct. 19, 2015, in Bernalillo County, N.M., he was in possession of two kilograms of heroin, which was concealed in a false compartment in his luggage, while traveling through Albuquerque on the Amtrak train.  Fernandez further admitted that he was to be paid $5,000 for transporting the heroin from Simi Valley to Cincinnati, Ohio.

At sentencing, Fernandez faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison followed by not less than three years of supervised release.  He remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the DEA.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul H. Spiers prosecuted the case 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 March 4, 2016

Topic
Drug Trafficking