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Justice News

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

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Las Cruces Woman Sentenced to Prison for Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking Conviction

ALBUQUERQUE – Marlene C. Sandoval, 39, of Las Cruces, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court to 60 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for her methamphetamine trafficking conviction. 

Sandoval and her co-defendant David S. Thompson, 29, were arrested in Nov. 2015, on a criminal complaint charging them with methamphetamine trafficking charges on Oct. 16, 2015, in Doña Ana County, N.M.  Sandoval and Thompson were arrested after law enforcement officers found crystal methamphetamine inside the vehicle Sandoval and Thompson were driving during a routine traffic stop.  Sandoval and Thompson were subsequently indicted on Feb. 17, 2016, and charged with conspiracy and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

On April 19, 2016, Sandoval and Thompson each entered a guilty plea to a conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute charge.  They admitted being pulled over for speeding on Oct. 16, 2015, by New Mexico Department of Transportation officers.  After obtaining consent from Sandoval and Thompson to search their vehicle, the officers found 499 grams of methamphetamine in a shoe in the vehicle.  Sandoval and Thompson also admitted that they intended to distribute the methamphetamine in Las Cruces.

Thompson was sentenced on Sept. 26, 2016, to 36 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the DEA, the New Mexico Department of Transportation Police, the Las Cruces Police Department and the HIDTA Regional Interagency Drug Task Force/Metro Narcotics Task Force.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark A. Saltman of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office prosecuted the case.

The HIDTA Regional Interagency Drug Task Force/Metro Narcotics Task Force is comprised of officers from the Las Cruces Police Department, the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, HSI and the New Mexico State Police.  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 November 8, 2016