Colorado Man Pleads Guilty to Heroin Trafficking Charge in New Mexico
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of HOPE Initiative which Seeks to Reduce the Number of Opioid-Related Deaths in New Mexico.
ALBUQUERQUE – Martin Pelayo, 39, of Colorado Springs, Colo., pleaded guilty this morning in federal court to a heroin trafficking charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Pelayo was arrested on Sept. 29, 2014, at the Greyhound Bus Station in Albuquerque, N.M., after a consensual search of his baggage by DEA agents revealed that he was carrying more than a kilogram of heroin concealed in a sleeping bag. Pelayo subsequently was indicted on Oct. 21, 2014, and charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
During today’s proceedings, Pelayo pled guilty to a felony information charging him with possession of heroin with intent to distribute. In his plea agreement, Pelayo admitted that on Sept. 26, 2014, he was traveling on a Greyhound Bus from Los Angeles, Calif., to Charlotte, N.C. During a stop in Albuquerque, Pelayo had a conversation with a law enforcement officer during which he permitted the officer to search his luggage. The search revealed two bundles of heroin which were concealed within Pelayo’s sleeping bag. Pelayo admitted that he was planning to deliver the heroin to another person in exchange for money.
At sentencing, Pelayo faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison. Pelayo was remanded into federal custody after entering his guilty plea. He will remain detained pending his sentencing hearing which 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 Jacob Wishard 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 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.