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Justice News

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

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Las Cruces Man Sentenced to More Than 15 Years for Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking Conviction

ALBUQUERQUE – Ricky Joe Garcia, 53, of Las Cruces, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court to 184 months in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release for his methamphetamine trafficking conviction and a supervised release violation.

Garcia and co-defendants Kenneth Matthew Adame, 25, and Christopher Michael Sanchez, 25, both of Las Cruces, were arrested in April 2017, and were charged by criminal complaint with participating in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy on April 10, 2017, in Dona Ana County, N.M.  According to the complaint, on that day, Adame, Garcia and Sanchez sold approximately 497.22 grams of methamphetamine to undercover law enforcement agents.

On Aug. 2, 2017, Garcia pled guilty to a two-count felony information charging him with conspiracy and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  In entering the guilty plea, Garcia admitted that in April 2017, he entered into an agreement with his co-defendants to sell methamphetamine to another person.  Garcia further admitted that on April 10, 2017, he sold approximately 497 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover law enforcement agent.  During today’s sentencing hearing, Garcia also admitted to violating his conditions of release by committing another federal crime.

Adame pled guilty to methamphetamine trafficking charges on June 21, 2017, and was sentenced on Feb. 14, 2018, to 60 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release for his methamphetamine trafficking conviction.  Sanchez pled guilty to methamphetamine trafficking charges on July 19, 2017, and was sentenced on Nov. 27, 2017, to 60 months in federal prison followed by four years of supervised release. 

This case was investigated by the Border Enforcement Security Taskforce of Homeland Security Investigations and the HIDTA Region VII Drug Task Force, a multi-agency task force that conducts long term investigations targeting regional, national and international drug trafficking organizations that operate in Luna, Hidalgo and Grant counties and follow-up on cases resulting from U.S. Border Patrol and New Mexico State Police interdiction efforts.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brock E. Taylor of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.

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.

Drug Trafficking
Updated March 21, 2018