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Justice News

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

Friday, September 25, 2015

Mexican National Sentenced to 97 Months for Trafficking Methamphetamine in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Jorge Luis Garcia-Valenzuela, 22, a Mexican national illegally residing in Lakeside, Ariz., was sentenced this afternoon in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 97 months in prison for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine in Socorro and Catron Counties, N.M.  Garcia-Valenzuela will be deported following his term of incarceration.

Garcia-Valenzuela and his co-defendant Emery Lee Begay, 32, of Lakeside, Ariz., were arrested on Oct. 25, 2014, after they traveled to Quemado, N.M., with the intention of selling methamphetamine and marijuana to undercover officers.  According to court records, on Aug. 19, 2013, Begay delivered 22.6 grams of methamphetamine and approximately three kilograms of marijuana to the undercover officers in Socorro, after Garcia-Valenzuela negotiated the drug deal with the officers.  On Oct. 25, 2014, Garcia-Valenzuela and Begay traveled to Quemado where they intended to consummate a drug deal with undercover officers and were arrested.  The officers seized 800 grams of methamphetamine and more than eight kilograms of marijuana when they arrested the two men.

Begay and Garcia-Valenzuela were indicted on Nov. 19, 2014, and charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana, distribution of methamphetamine and marijuana, and possession of methamphetamine and marijuana with intent to distribute.  According to the indictment, the offenses were committed between Aug. 19, 2014 and Oct. 25, 2014, in Socorro and Catron Counties.

Garcia-Valenzuela entered a guilty plea on June 19, 2015, to a felony information charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possess methamphetamine.

On May 21, 2015, Begay pled guilty to a felony information charging him with participation in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy.  Begay was sentenced on Aug. 20, 2015, to 60 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque and Gallup offices of the FBI, the Southern Pueblos Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and the Ramah Navajo Tribal Police Department.  It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine Y. Ramirez.

Updated September 25, 2015