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Press Release

Farmington Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Kenneth Verzani, 63, of Farmington, N.M., pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a methamphetamine trafficking charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Waldemar Rodriguez of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in El Paso, Texas, and Commander Phil Goodwin of the Region II HITDA Narcotics Task Force.

Verzani was arrested in Nov. 2015, on a five-count indictment charging him with methamphetamine trafficking offenses.  According to the indictment, Verzani distributed methamphetamine on five occasions between May 3, 2015 and June 10, 2015, in San Juan County, N.M.  The indictment included forfeiture allegations requiring Verzani to forfeit $4,260, proceeds of the drug trafficking charged, to the United States. 

During yesterday’s proceedings, Verzani pled guilty to a felony information charging him with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  In entering the guilty plea, Verzani admitted selling quantities of methamphetamine to an undercover officer on the following dates:  56 grams on May 5, 2015; 28 grams on May 28, 2015; 56 grams on June 2, 2015; and 56 grams on June 7, 2015. 

In his plea agreement, Verzani admitted that the drug deals took place in his vehicle or his residence.  Verzani also admitted that on June 10, 2015, officers seized 1.29 kilograms (2.8 pounds) of methamphetamine from his residence.  The plea agreement states that Verzani obtained the methamphetamine from his regular source of supply with the intention of distributing the drugs to the six or seven small-time methamphetamine dealers with whom he regularly dealt. 

At sentencing, Verzani faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.  He remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled. 

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of Homeland Security Investigations and the HIDTA Region II Narcotics Task Force.  Assistant U.S. Attorney George C. Kraehe is prosecuting the case.

The HIDTA Region II Narcotics Task Force is comprised of officers and investigators from the Farmington Police Department, San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, Bloomfield Police Department and Aztec Police Department, and is part of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program was created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988.  HIDTA is a program of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) which provides assistance to federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States and seeks to reduce drug trafficking and production by facilitating coordinated law enforcement activities and information sharing.

Updated February 26, 2016

Topic
Drug Trafficking