Las Cruces Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Trafficking Charges Arising Out of Seizure of 12 Pounds of Meth and 2.4 Pounds of Heroin
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of HOPE Initiative which Seeks to Reduce the Number of Opioid-Related Deaths in New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE – Jeanne J. Barron, 24, of Las Cruces, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to methamphetamine and heroin trafficking charges.
Barron was arrested in July 2015, on a criminal complaint charging her with possession of methamphetamine and heroin with intent to distribute on July 10, 2015, in Bernalillo County, N.M.. According to the complaint, law enforcement officers located a bag containing several individual packages containing 5.37 kilograms (11.98 pounds) of methamphetamine and two packages containing 1.08 kilograms (2.4 pounds) of heroin in Barron’s vehicle during a traffic stop. Barron was subsequently indicted on the same charges on July 30, 2015.
During today’s proceedings, Barron pled guilty to a felony information charging her with possession of methamphetamine and heroin with intent to distribute. In entering the guilty plea, Barron admitted that on July 10, 2015, she was stopped by law enforcement officers while traveling from Phoenix, Ariz., to Oklahoma City, Okla. Barron further admitted that the law enforcement officers found ten packages containing 11.98 pounds of methamphetamine and two packages containing 2.4 pounds of heroin in the trunk of her vehicle during the traffic stop.
At sentencing, Barron 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 Albuquerque office of Homeland Security Investigations and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rumaldo R. Armijo is prosecuting the case as part of the New Mexico Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative. The HOPE Initiative was launched in January 2015 by the UNM Health Sciences Center and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in response to the national opioid epidemic, which has had a disproportionately devastating impact on New Mexico. Opioid addiction has taken a toll on public safety, public health and the economic viability of our communities. Working in partnership with the DEA, the Bernalillo County Opioid Accountability Initiative, Healing Addiction in our Community (HAC), the Albuquerque Public Schools and other community stakeholders, HOPE’s principal goals are to protect our communities from the dangers associated with heroin and opioid painkillers and reducing the number of opioid-related deaths in New Mexico.
The HOPE Initiative is comprised of five components: (1) prevention and education; (2) treatment; (3) law enforcement; (4) reentry; and (5) strategic planning. HOPE’s law enforcement component is led by the Organized Crime Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA in conjunction with their federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners. Targeting members of major heroin and opioid trafficking organizations for investigation and prosecution is a priority of the HOPE Initiative. Learn more about the New Mexico HOPE Initiative at http://www.HopeInitiativeNM.org.