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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 18, 2015

Cibola County Woman Sentenced to 51 Months for Conviction on Federal Heroin and Methamphetamine Charges

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Rachel Chavez Basurto, 53, of Grants, N.M., was sentenced this morning to 51 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for her conviction on heroin and methamphetamine trafficking charges.  Basurto also was ordered to pay a $13,133.33 fine.

Basurto was arrested in March 2013, on a criminal complaint charging her with heroin and methamphetamine trafficking charges.  Basurto subsequently was indicted and charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  According to court filings, Basurto was arrested on March 5, 2013, after law enforcement officers executed a consensual search at her residence and seized 94.1 net grams of heroin, 11.5 grams of actual methamphetamine, drug trafficking paraphernalia, and more than $28,000 in cash.

Basurto entered a guilty plea to the two-count indictment on March 4, 2014, without the benefit of a plea agreement.

On March 22, 2014, only eighteen days after Basurto entered her guilty plea in this case and while she was on conditions of release pending her sentencing hearing, Basurto sold heroin to an individual who was working under the supervision of the Grants Police Department.  On March 27, 2014, Basurto again sold heroin to the same individual.  Thereafter, Basurto’s conditions of release were revoked and she has been in federal custody since that time.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the DEA and the Grants Police Department and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lynn W.Y. Wang and Linda Mott.

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 May 18, 2015