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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 12, 2015

California Man Sentenced to Ten Years for Heroin Trafficking Conviction in New Mexico

Defendant Prosecuted as Part of HOPE Initiative which Seeks to Reduce the Number of Opioid-Related Deaths in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Paul Anthony Diaz, 48, of Desert Hot Springs, Calif., was sentenced this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 120 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for his heroin trafficking conviction.

Diaz was arrested on Feb. 11, 2014, at the Amtrak train station in Albuquerque after a consensual search of Diaz by DEA agents revealed that Diaz had concealed bundles containing more than one kilogram of heroin underneath his clothing.  Diaz subsequently was indicted on Feb. 26, 2014, and charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute.

Diaz entered a guilty plea to the indictment on Aug. 18, 2014.  The guilty plea was entered without the benefit of a plea agreement.

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 Paul Mysliwiec prosecuted 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 collaboration 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.

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Updated February 12, 2015