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Press Release

Mexican National Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Trafficking Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced today that Carlos Arturo Quintana pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms and more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana, intending and knowing that said controlled substance would be unlawfully imported into the United States. Quintana, 41, of Namiquipa, Chihuahua, Mexico, will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

A federal grand jury issued a third superseding indictment against Quintana and 10 co-conspirators on July 23, 2015. According to court records, in March of 2011, a confidential informant (“CI”) and another individual ordered 600 kilograms of marijuana from Elmy Hermosillo Trujillo. Trujillo was known to be the person who arranged all bulk purchases of marijuana for the Juarez Cartel, which is responsible for disseminating multi-ton loads of cocaine, marijuana, and other illicit drugs throughout the United States each year. Juarez Cartel is one of the oldest and most powerful criminal organizations in Mexico. Since its beginnings, the cartel has focused on drug trafficking, but has expanded into other criminal activities such as human trafficking, arms trafficking, kidnapping, extortion, and large-scale commercial gasoline theft from the Mexican government.

On or about March 19, 2011, the CI and the other individual, as well as other coconspirators, met with Quintana in Gomez Farias, Chihuahua, Mexico. Quintana arrived wearing a police uniform, driving a marked police vehicle, and was accompanied by other uniformed officers. Quintana and the other officers delivered the 600 kilograms of marijuana in a dump truck. The CI and the other individual then placed a GPS tracking device with the marijuana.

On or about March 26, 2011, according to data being transmitted from the GPS tracker, the marijuana was located at a drug storage house in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Mexican law enforcement authorities searched the house at that location. A shootout occurred at that location which left one subject dead and resulted in the arrest of three co-conspirators and the escape of others. The marijuana, as well as several firearms, radios, and cell phones were seized at that time.

Quintana was identified as the Police Chief of Namiquipa, as well as the Plaza Boss of the Juarez Cartel, and extradited to the United States in August of 2022.

In his plea agreement, Quintana admitted that from Feb. 2011 to March 2011, he was involved in a conspiracy with others to distribute 600 kilograms of marijuana in the Republic of Mexico and knew the marijuana would be unlawfully imported into the United States. At sentencing, Quintana faces not less than five years nor more than 40 years in prison.

Raul Corella-Hernandez, Marco Antonio Guzman-Zuniga, Elmy Hermosillo Trujillo, Jorge Olivas Nevarez, Jorge Adrian Ortega-Gallegos, and Guadalupe A Prieto remain fugitives.

The FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Las Cruces-Doña Ana County Metro Narcotics Agency. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in securing the arrest and extradition of Quintana from Mexico. Assistant United States Attorneys Maria Y. Armijo and Randy M. Castellano are prosecuting the case.

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Updated January 18, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 24-23