Hobbs Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking Charge
ALBUQUERQUE – Clinton Skippings, 57, of Hobbs, N.M., pleaded guilty today in Las Cruces federal court to a methamphetamine trafficking charge. The guilty plea was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough, 5th Judicial District Attorney Janetta B. Hicks, Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the Albuquerque Division of the FBI, and Commander Mike Wilson of the Lea County Drug Task Force (LCDTF).
Skippings was arrested on Dec. 18, 2013, after he was transferred from state custody to federal custody to face charges on a federal criminal complaint alleging methamphetamine trafficking charges. According to the criminal complaint, officers of the LCDTF arrested Skippings in Hobbs, N.M., on state charges on Oct. 10, 2013, after seizing approximately 119 grams of methamphetamine, 42.6 grams of cocaine and 10 grams of cocaine base when they executed search warrants on Skippings, his residence and his vehicle. The officers also seized a firearm and more than $5800 in cash.
During today’s proceedings, Skippings entered a guilty plea to a felony information charging him with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. In his plea agreement, Skippings admitted that he was in possession of methamphetamine and cocaine base that he intended to distribute when he was stopped by officers on Oct. 10, 2013. He also admitted that he intended to distribute the methamphetamine, cocaine and cocaine base seized when the officers executed a search at his residence.
Skippings is in federal custody and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Skippings will be sentenced to ten years in federal prison. According to the plea agreement, the parties will recommend that the ten year prison sentence run concurrently with the sentence imposed on Skippings in the state case captioned State of New Mexico v. Clinton Skippings, D-506-CR-2013-00074 (5th Judicial District).
This federal case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the DEA and the Lea County Drug Task Force, with assistance from the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Terri J. Abernathy of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office. Assistant District Attorney Erik Scramlin of the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office prosecuted the aforementioned state case.
The Lea County Drug Task Force is comprised of officers from the Lea County Sheriff’s Office, Hobbs Police Department, Lovington Police Department, Eunice Police Department and the Jal Police Department, and is part of the HIDTA Region VI Drug Task Force. 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.