Mexican National and Edgewood Man Charged with Distributing Heroin Resulting in the Death of the User
Case Prosecuted as Part of HOPE Initiative which Seeks to Reduce the Number of Opioid-Related Deaths in New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE – U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and Special Agent in Charge Will R. Glaspy of the DEA’s El Paso Division announced today that two men have been charged with distributing heroin that resulted in the death of the person who used the drug. The “death resulting” heroin distribution charge is contained in an 18-count superseding indictment that was filed May 25, 2016 by a federal grand jury.
The two men, Rosendo Flores Angulo, 38, a Mexican national who was illegally residing in Albuquerque, and Curtis Hutchinson, 30, of Edgewood, N.M., were arraigned on the superseding indictment this morning in federal court in Albuquerque. Both entered not guilty pleas to the superseding indictment.
This case was initiated on Sept. 18, 2015, by the filing of a criminal complaint charging Angulo with heroin trafficking charges. The criminal complaint alleged that Angulo repeatedly distributed heroin to two undercover DEA agents in Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties, N.M., between July 2015 and Sept. 2015.
On Oct. 20, 2015, the grand jury returned a 17-count indictment charging Angulo and Hutchinson with participating in a heroin trafficking conspiracy. The indictment charged both men with two counts of heroin distribution and Angulo alone with an additional 14 counts of heroin distribution. According to the indictment, Angulo and Hutchinson committed these crimes between July 2015 and Sept. 2015, when they allegedly sold heroin to two undercover DEA agents.
The superseding indictment on which Angulo and Hutchinson were arraigned today added the “death resulting” heroin distribution charge. According to the superseding indictment, on April 29, 2015, Angulo and Hutchinson distributed heroin to person who died as a result of using that heroin. The men allegedly committed this crime in Bernalillo County.
If convicted on the “death resulting” heroin distribution charge, Angulo and Hutchinson each face a statutory mandatory minimum of 20 years and a maximum of life in prison. If convicted on the other heroin trafficking charges, Angulo and Hutchinson each face a statutory mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison. Charges in criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Albuquerque office of the DEA investigated this case, which is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy S. Vasquez, 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.