Mexican National Facing Federal Drug Charge Following 26.65 Pound Methamphetamine Seizure at U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint South of Alamogordo, New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE – This morning, a U.S. Magistrate Judge sitting in Las Cruces, N.M., found probable cause to support a criminal complaint charging Perfecto Lopez-Olivas, 44, a Mexican national, with a methamphetamine trafficking offense arising out of the seizure of 26 pounds of methamphetamine at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in southern New Mexico on July 7, 2018. Lopez-Olivas was remanded into custody pending trial, which has yet to be scheduled.
U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested Lopez-Olivas on July 7, 2018, after seizing approximately 12.09 kilograms (26.65 pounds) of methamphetamine allegedly concealed in the gas tank of Lopez-Olivas’ vehicle. According to the criminal complaint, the agents allegedly found the methamphetamine while inspecting Lopez-Olivas’ vehicle at the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint on Highway 54 south of Alamogordo, N.M., in Otero County, N.M.
If convicted of the charges in the criminal complaint, Lopez-Olivas faces a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of ten years and a maximum of life in federal prison, and will be deported after serving his term of incarceration. Charges in criminal complaints are merely accusations and criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Border Patrol and the Las Cruces office of the DEA. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Joni Autrey is prosecuting the case.