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Press Release

El Paso, Texas Man Pleads Guilty in New Mexico to Federal Drug Trafficking Charge Arising from Seizure of Almost Six Pounds Of Heroin

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 – Luis Alejandro Escapite Perez, 21, of El Paso, Texas, pleaded guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a heroin trafficking charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Perez was arrested on Oct. 13, 2015, on a criminal complaint charging him with possession of heroin with intent to distribute in Valencia County, N.M.  According to the complaint, Perez was arrested after law enforcement officers discovered approximately 2.67 kilograms (5.9 pounds) of heroin concealed inside Perez’s vehicle during a traffic stop on Interstate 25 near Belen, N.M.   Perez was subsequently indicted on the same charge on Dec. 17, 2015.  The indictment included forfeiture allegations requiring Perez to forfeit a white 2011 Volkswagen Jetta to the United States.

During today’s proceedings, Perez pled guilty to the indictment.  In entering the guilty plea, Perez admitted that on Oct. 13, 2015, he was in the process of transporting 2.67 kilograms of heroin to Albuquerque when he was stopped by law enforcement officers.  Perez admitted that he previously delivered heroin from the area of El Paso and Juarez, Mexico to Albuquerque on April 28, 2015 and May 18, 2015.  During each of these prior deliveries, Perez was paid to transport the heroin from the El Paso and Juarez, Mexico area to Albuquerque.

At sentencing, Perez faces a statutory minimum of ten years and a maximum of life in federal prison.  Perez remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled. 

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the DEA and the New Mexico State Police.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Shaheen P. Torgoley is prosecuting the case.

This case was prosecuted 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 and opioid trafficking organizations for investigation and prosecution is a priority of the HOPE Initiative.

Updated April 5, 2016

Drug Trafficking