Las Cruces Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Cocaine Trafficking Charge
ALBUQUERQUE – Arnulfo Vasquez, 35, of Las Cruces, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court to a cocaine trafficking charge.
Vasquez was arrested in Jan. 2011, on a criminal complaint charging him with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in Doña Ana County, N.M. According to the complaint, on Jan. 20, 2011, law enforcement agents seized approximately 96.6 grams of cocaine and drug paraphernalia from Vasquez and his residence during the execution of a search warrant. Vasquez was subsequently indicted on the same charge on April 20, 2011.
During today’s proceedings, Vasquez pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that on Jan. 20, 2011, law enforcement agents seized a total of 73.1 grams of cocaine from his residence and vehicle which he intended to distribute to others.
At sentencing, Vasquez faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of Homeland Security Investigations and the HIDTA Regional Interagency Drug Task Force/Metro Narcotics Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office is prosecuting the case.
The HIDTA Regional Interagency Drug Task Force/Metro Narcotics Task Force is comprised of officers from the Las Cruces Police Department, the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, HSI and the New Mexico State Police. 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.