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Press Release

Mexican National Sentenced for Drug Trafficking

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

ALBUQUERQUE – A federal judge sentenced a Mexican national to five years in federal prison for trafficking marijuana into the United States. Carlos Arturo Quintana, 41, of Namiquipa, Chihuahua, Mexico, was identified as the Police Chief of Namiquipa, as well as the Namiquipa Plaza Boss for the Juarez Cartel, and extradited to the United States in August of 2022.

According to court records, in March 2011, a confidential informant (CI) ordered 600 kilograms of marijuana from Elmy Hermosillo Trujillo, a key figure in the Juarez Cartel, known for trafficking large quantities of drugs into the United States annually. The Juarez Cartel, one of Mexico's oldest and most influential criminal groups, had diversified into various illicit activities beyond drug trafficking, including human trafficking, arms trading, kidnapping, extortion, and large-scale fuel theft from the government.

On March 19, 2011, the CI met with Quintana, who arrived wearing a police uniform, driving a marked police vehicle, and was accompanied by other uniformed officers. Quintana and the other officers delivered the 600 kilograms of marijuana in a dump truck. The CI then placed a GPS tracking device with the marijuana.

By March 26, 2011, the tracker revealed the marijuana's location at a storage facility in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, prompting a law enforcement raid resulting in arrests, a fatality, and the confiscation of drugs, firearms, and communication devices.

On January 18, 2024, Quintana pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms and more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana, intending and knowing that said controlled substance would be unlawfully imported into the United States. Today, Quintana was sentenced to a term of 60 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.

There is no parole in the federal system.

U.S. Attorney Alexander M.M. Uballez and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, made the announcement today.

The FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Las Cruces-Doña Ana County Metro Narcotics Agency. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in securing the arrest and extradition of Quintana from Mexico. Assistant United States Attorneys Maria Y. Armijo and Randy M. Castellano are prosecuting the case.

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Updated March 22, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 24-111