Las Cruces Residents Plead Guilty to Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – Two residents of Las Cruces, N.M., pleaded guilty this afternoon in federal court to methamphetamine trafficking charges.
Chayanne Armando Nino, 25, and Michael Angelo Strubhar, 47, were arrested in Jan. 2016, on a criminal complaint charging them with methamphetamine trafficking offenses. According to the criminal complaint, Nino and Strubhar sold methamphetamine to an undercover agent on July 13, 2015.
Nino and Strubhar were subsequently indicted on Feb. 17, 2016, and charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and distribution of methamphetamine on July 13, 2015, in Doña Ana County. N.M.
During today’s proceedings, Nino and Strubhar each pled guilty to a felony information charging them with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and distribution of methamphetamine. Each admitted that on July 13, 2015, Nino distributed methamphetamine to Strubhar who then distributed the methamphetamine to a law enforcement agent who was acting in an undercover capacity. The weight of the methamphetamine distributed was 12.2 grams.
Under the terms of his plea agreement, Nino will be sentenced to ten years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. At sentencing, Strubhar faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. Both men remain in custody pending sentencing hearings which have yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the DEA and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Balla of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.