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Press Release

Las Cruces Man Sentenced to Twenty Years in Federal Prison for Methamphetamine Trafficking and Firearms Conviction

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Mark Anthony Harriman, 45, of Las Cruces, N.M., was sentenced this morning in Las Cruces federal court to 20 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for his drug trafficking and firearms conviction. 

The sentence was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough, Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit of the El Paso Division of the DEA, Special Agent in Charge Bobby Holden of the Las Cruces/Doña Ana County Metro Narcotics Agency and New Mexico State Police Chief Pete N. Kassetas.

Harriman and Agustin Abascal, 27, also of Las Cruces, were arrested in April 2013 based on a criminal complaint charging them with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Doña Ana County, N.M., between Nov. 2012 and March 2013.  According to the complaint, Harriman and Abascal sold quantities of methamphetamine to a New Mexico State Police officer and a DEA informant who were acting in undercover capacities during the five month period.  Both men have been in federal custody since their arrests.

Harriman pled guilty in July 2013 to a two-count felony information charging him with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  In entering his guilty plea, Harriman admitted that between Feb. 26, 2013 and March 14, 2013, he obtained methamphetamine from California and sold it in Las Cruces.  Harriman also admitted selling an ounce of methamphetamine to an informant on Feb. 26, 2013.  He further admitted that he was traveling back from California with two ounces of methamphetamine when he was arrested in this case. 

Harriman also admitted that, when federal agents executed a search warrant at his residence, they seized nine firearms and large amounts of ammunition that belonged to him.  Harriman acknowledged that he was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously was convicted of two felony offenses.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Harriman agreed to forfeit the firearms and more than 1000 rounds of ammunition seized from his residence in addition to $13,940 in cash.

Abascal also entered a guilty plea in July 2013.  He pled guilty to a one-count felony information charging him with distribution of methamphetamine and admitted selling methamphetamine to an undercover officer on five separate occasions between Nov. 1, 2012 and March 7, 2013.  Abascal faces a term of ten years to life in prison when he is sentenced.  His sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the DEA, the Las Cruces/Doña Ana County Metro Narcotics Agency and the New Mexico State Police, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Renee L. Camacho of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.

Updated January 26, 2015