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Justice News

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

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mexican National Pleads Guilty to Federal Heroin Trafficking Charge in New Mexico

Defendant Prosecuted as Part of HOPE Initiative which Seeks to Reduce the Number of Opioid-Related Deaths in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Yareli Jasmin Bustamante-Conchas, 28, a Mexican citizen illegally residing in Albuquerque, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to a federal heroin trafficking charge.

Bustamante-Conchas was arrested on a criminal complaint on Aug. 29, 2014, in Bernalillo County, N.M., after DEA agents seized approximately 745.4 grams of heroin, drug packaging materials and $42,818.47 in U.S. currency from Bustamante-Conchas’ residence during a consensual search.

Bustamante-Conchas was subsequently indicted on Sept. 23, 2014, and charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute.  The indictment included forfeiture provisions seeking an order requiring Bustamante-Conchas to forfeit $102,000.00 representing drug proceeds in addition to the $42,818.47 seized from her home on Aug. 29, 2014.

During today’s proceedings, Bustamante-Conchas pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that on Aug. 28, 2014, DEA agents seized 745.4 grams of heroin, approximately $42,818.47 in cash and drug packaging materials from her home.  Bustamante-Conchas also admitted that she was illegally present in the United States and had been making approximately $3,000.00 a week by distributing heroin since Dec. 2013.

Bustamante-Conchas has been in federal custody since her arrest and remains detained pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.  At sentencing, Bustamante-Conchas faces a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison.  She will be deported after completing her prison sentence.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the DEA and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Jon Ganjei.

This case was prosecuted pursuant to the New Mexico Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative.  The HOPE Initiative is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center that is partnering with the Bernalillo County Opioid Accountability Initiative with the overriding goal of reducing the number of opioid-related deaths in the District of New Mexico.  The HOPE Initiative comprised of five components:  (1) prevention and education; (2) treatment; (3) law enforcement; (4) reentry; and (5) strategic planning.  The law enforcement component of the HOPE Initiative 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 trafficking organizations for investigation and prosecution is a priority of the HOPE Initiative.

Updated March 24, 2015