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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 13, 2018

Mexican National Sentenced to 150 Months for Violating Federal Drug Trafficking and Firearms Laws in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Juan Carlos Varela-Maldonado, 28, a Mexican national illegally residing in the United States, was sentenced yesterday afternoon in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 150 months in prison for his conviction on methamphetamine trafficking and being an illegal alien in possession of firearms and ammunition.  Varela-Maldonado will be deported after completing his prison sentence.

Varela-Maldonado and co-defendant Oscar Gabriel Mendoza-Bailon, 30, also a Mexican national illegally residing in the United States, were arrested on April 2, 2015, on a criminal complaint charging them with distributing approximately 113 grams of methamphetamine to an individual working with law enforcement on March 23, 2015, in Bernalillo County, N.M.  Varela-Maldonado and Mendoza-Bailon subsequently were charged in a two-count indictment filed on April 28, 2015, with methamphetamine trafficking offenses.

The indictment was superseded on Dec. 2, 2015, to add two more charges against Varela-Maldonado.  The superseding indictment charged Varela-Maldonado and Mendoza-Bailon with conspiracy and distributing methamphetamine on March 23, 2015.  Varela-Maldonado was also charged individually with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and being an illegal alien in possession of firearms and ammunition on April 2, 2015.  According to the indictment, the defendants committed the crimes in Bernalillo County.

On Sept. 29, 2016, Varela-Maldonado pled guilty to the indictment without the benefit of a plea agreement.

Mendoza-Bailon entered a guilty plea to a felony information on May 11, 2016, charging him with distribution of methamphetamine.  In entering the guilty plea, Mendoza-Bailon admitted that on March 23, 2015, he and Varela-Maldonado sold approximately 111.4 grams of 97.3% pure methamphetamine to an individual working with law enforcement.  Mendoza-Bailon was sentenced on Sept. 14, 2016, to 42 months in prison and will be deported after completing his prison sentence.

This case was investigated by the Border Enforcement Security Taskforce of Homeland Security Investigations and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kristopher N. Houghton, Joel R. Meyers and Peter J. Eicker prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Immigration
Component(s): 
Updated April 13, 2018