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Press Release

Mexican National Sentenced to 108 Months in Prison for Trafficking Methamphetamine in Eddy County

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Israel Mireles-Rivera, 35, a Mexican national unlawfully in the United States and residing in Hagerman, N.M., was sentenced this morning in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 108 months in federal prison for his methamphetamine trafficking conviction.  Mireles-Rivera will be deported after completing his prison sentence.

Mireles-Rivera and co-defendant Ediberto Guzman, 63, of Carlsbad, N.M., were arrested in Jan. 2014, on a three-count indictment charging them with methamphetamine trafficking and firearms offenses.  Count 1 of the indictment charged the two men with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from Feb. 2013 through Oct. 2013 in Eddy and Chaves Counties, N.M.  Counts 2 and 3 charged Mireles-Rivera with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and being an alien illegally in possession of a firearm.

According to the indictment, between Feb. 2013 and Oct. 2013, Mireles-Rivera provided methamphetamine to Guzman on multiple occasions, and Guzman sold the methamphetamine to others, including a person who was working with law enforcement officers.  It also alleged that on Oct. 17, 2013, Mireles-Rivera had more than 180 grams of methamphetamine hidden in a vehicle outside his residence and a smaller amount of methamphetamine inside his residence.

On Jan. 16, 2015, Mireles-Rivera pled guilty to a two-count felony information charging him with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  In entering his guilty plea, Mireles-Rivera admitted that between Feb. 2013 and Oct. 2013, he was involved in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy.  During this period, Mireles-Rivera supplied methamphetamine to an individual who sold the drugs to others.  Mireles-Rivera also admitted that subsequent to his arrest, law enforcement officers seized approximately eight ounces of methamphetamine when they searched his house and vehicle.

Co-defendant Guzman pled guilty to the conspiracy count of the indictment on April 25, 2014.  He was sentenced on June 26, 2014, to 48 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the DEA, the HIDTA Region VI Pecos Valley Drug Task Force and the Carlsbad Police Department.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy M. Castellano of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.

The HIDTA Region VI Pecos Valley Drug Task Force is comprised of officers from the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office, Carlsbad Police Department, Artesia Police Department, New Mexico Probation and Parole, and the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.  The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program was created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988.  HIDTA is a program of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) which provides assistance to federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States and seeks to reduce drug trafficking and production by facilitating coordinated law enforcement activities and information sharing.

Updated September 6, 2016

Drug Trafficking