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Press Release

Los Lunas Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – James Sparks, 37, of Los Lunas, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a methamphetamine trafficking charge.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Sparks will be sentenced to 60 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, 13th Judicial District Attorney Lemuel Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Will R. Glaspy of the DEA’s El Paso Division and Valencia County Sheriff Louis Burkhard.

Sparks was charged in an indictment on Nov. 5, 2015, with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute on June 16, 2014, in Valencia County, N.M.  Sparks was arrested on Nov. 10, 2015, after he was transferred to federal custody from state custody where he was being held on related state charges which were later dismissed in favor of federal prosecution.

During today’s proceedings, Sparks pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that on June 16, 2014, Valencia County Sheriff’s deputies stopped him for speeding on his motorcycle. Sparks admitted that he attempted to run from deputies when they discovered that Sparks was in possession of more than five grams of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, but was eventually apprehended and arrested by the deputies.

Sparks remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the DEA and the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Rumaldo R. Armijo is prosecuting the case. 

The case is being prosecuted as part of the federal “worst of the worst” anti-violence initiative.  Under this initiative, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal law enforcement agencies work with New Mexico’s District Attorneys and state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to target violent or repeat offenders primarily based on their prior felony convictions for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.  Because New Mexico’s violent crime rates, on a per capita basis, are amongst the highest in the nation, New Mexico’s law enforcement community is collaborating to target repeat offenders from counties with the highest violent crime rates, including Valencia County, under this initiative.

Updated January 22, 2016