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Press Release

Las Cruces Men Plead Guilty to Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking Charges

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Mark Anthony Harriman, 45, and Agustin Abascal, 27, both of Las Cruces, N.M., pleaded guilty earlier today to methamphetamine trafficking charges in the Las Cruces federal court, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales, Joseph M. Arabit, Special Agent in Charge, El Paso Division of the DEA, Bobby Holden, Special Agent in Charge of the Las Cruces/Doña Ana County Metro Narcotics Agency, and Chief Robert W. Shilling of the New Mexico State Police.

In mid-April 2013, Harriman and Abascal were arrested on a criminal complaint alleging that they conspired to distribute methamphetamine and did distribute methamphetamine in Doña Ana County, N.M., between Nov. 2012 and March 2013.  According to the criminal complaint, Harriman and Abascal sold quantities of methamphetamine to a New Mexico State Police officer who was working in an undercover capacity and an informant on several occasions during that period.

Today, Harriman entered a guilty plea to a felony information charging him with possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute between Feb. 2013 through March 2013, and unlawfully possessing firearms and ammunition on March15, 2013.  Harriman was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition because he previously had been convicted of attempted assault in the first degree in Honolulu, Hawaii.  In his plea agreement, Harriman admitted that between Feb. 26, 2013 and March 14, 2013, he obtained methamphetamine from California and distributed it in Las Cruces.  Harriman further admitted that when he was arrested on state charges on March 15, 2013, he was traveling from California with approximately two ounces of methamphetamine.  

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Harriman will be sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.  Harriman also will be required to forfeit nine firearms, more than 1000 rounds of ammunition, a 2002 Mitsubishi Mirage and $13,940 in cash.

During today’s proceedings, Abascal entered a guilty plea to a felony information charging him with distribution of methamphetamine.  In his plea agreement, Abascal admitted selling methamphetamine on five occasions between Nov. 1, 2012 and March 7, 2013, to a person whom he later learned was an undercover officer.   At sentencing, Abascal faces a sentence of not less than ten years and not more than life in prison.

Both men have been in federal custody since their arrests and remain detained pending their sentencing hearings, which have 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