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Press Release

Chaparral Man Sentenced to Five Years for Heroin Trafficking Conviction

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 – Alberto Armendariz, 56, of Chaparral, N.M., was sentenced this morning in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 60 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release for his heroin trafficking conviction.

Armendariz was arrested in May 2015, and charged by criminal complaint with possessing heroin with intent to distribute in Doña Ana County, N.M., on May 5, 2015.  On that day, the DEA found approximately 299.3 grams of heroin and a shotgun in a Chaparral residence where Armendariz was residing.  At the time of his arrest, Armendariz was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of his status as a convicted felon.

On July 22, 2015, Armendariz pled guilty to a felony information charging him with possession of heroin with intent to distribute.  In entering the guilty plea, Armendariz admitted that the heroin seized by the DEA on May 5, 2015 belonged to him and that he intended to sell the drugs to others.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the DEA.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Alfred J. Perez of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office 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 December 9, 2015