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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 21, 2016

Espanola Man Pleads Guilty to Violating Federal Narcotics Trafficking Laws

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Matthew Martinez, 38, of Espanola, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a heroin trafficking charge.

Martinez was arrested on Dec. 3, 2015, on a three-count indictment charging him with heroin trafficking offenses.  The indictment alleged that Martinez distributed heroin in Bernalillo County, N.M., on April 30, 2015.  It also charged Martinez with distributing heroin on two occasions in Santa Fe, N.M.; the first time on May 1, 2015 and the second on Sept. 16, 2015.

During today’s proceedings, Martinez pled guilty to distributing heroin on Sept. 16, 2015.  In his plea agreement, Martinez admitted selling approximately two ounces of heroin to an undercover FBI agent outside of the Walmart located at 5701 Herrera Drive in Santa Fe. 

At sentencing, Martinez faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison followed by not less than three years of supervised release.  Martinez remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Santa Fe office of the FBI.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel R. Meyers 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 March 21, 2016