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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Mexican National Sentenced to 210 Months for Conspiring with Edgewood Man to Distribute Heroin Resulting in User’s Death

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Rosendo Flores Angulo, 40, a Mexican national, was sentenced today in federal court in Santa Fe, N.M., to 210 months of imprisonment for participating in a conspiracy to distribute heroin that resulted in the death of the user.  Angulo will be deported after he completes his prison sentence. 

This case was initiated on Sept. 18, 2015, by the filing of a criminal complaint charging Angulo with heroin trafficking charges based on a number of heroin sales to two undercover DEA agents in Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties, N.M., between July 2015 and Sept. 2015.  On Oct. 20, 2015, Angulo and co-defendant Curtis Hutchinson, 32, of Edgewood, N.M., were indicted and charged with participating in a heroin trafficking conspiracy.  In addition to the conspiracy charge, the 17-count indictment charged both men with two counts of heroin distribution and Angulo alone with an additional 14 counts of heroin distribution.

On May 25, 2016, a federal grand jury returned an 18-count superseding indictment against Angulo and Hutchinson that added a “death resulting” count charging that the two men had conspired to distribute, and had distributed, heroin that resulted in the death of the person who used the drug.  According to the superseding indictment, on April 29, 2015, Angulo and Hutchinson distributed heroin to a person who died as a result of using that heroin.  The two men were charged with committing this crime in Bernalillo County. 

On March 8, 2017, Angulo entered a guilty plea to a felony information charging him with conspiracy to distribute heroin.  In his plea agreement, Angulo admitted being a mid-level drug dealer who distributed heroin to low-level drug dealers and heroin users in Albuquerque in 2014 and 2015.  Hutchinson was one of the low-level drug dealers to whom Angulo supplied heroin.  Angulo admitted supplying heroin to Hutchinson on April 29, 2015, and acknowledged learning that Hutchinson sold some of the heroin to a young man, who collapsed and died after using the heroin.  The plea agreement states that a medical toxicologist concluded that the heroin was the cause of the young man’s death; the young man would not have died if he had not used the heroin.

Hutchinson previously pled guilty on Sept. 22, 2016, to conspiring with Angulo to distribute heroin that resulted in the death of a person who used the heroin.  When Hutchinson entered his guilty plea, he admitted selling $20.00 of heroin – approximately 0.25 of a gram – to an acquaintance on April 29, 2015, and acknowledged learning that the acquaintance died as result of using that heroin.  At sentencing, Hutchinson faces a statutory penalty of not less than 20 years and not more than life imprisonment.  He remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

The Albuquerque office of the DEA investigated this case, which is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy S. Vasquez, as part of the New Mexico Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative. 

The HOPE Initiative was launched in January 2015 by the UNM Health Sciences Center and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in response to the national opioid epidemic, which has had a disproportionately devastating impact on New Mexico.  Opioid addiction has taken a toll on public safety, public health and the economic viability of our communities.  Working in partnership with the DEA, the Bernalillo County Opioid Accountability Initiative, Healing Addiction in our Community (HAC), the Albuquerque Public Schools and other community stakeholders, HOPE’s principal goals are to protect our communities from the dangers associated with heroin and opioid painkillers and reducing the number of opioid-related deaths in New Mexico. 

The HOPE Initiative is comprised of five components:  (1) prevention and education; (2) treatment; (3) law enforcement; (4) reentry; and (5) strategic planning.  HOPE’s law enforcement component 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 and opioid trafficking organizations for investigation and prosecution is a priority of the HOPE Initiative.  Learn more about the New Mexico HOPE Initiative at http://www.HopeInitiativeNM.org.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated April 4, 2018