Two More Defendants Arrested During 2023 Joint Enforcement Operation in Carlsbad Plead Guilty to Federal Drug Offenses
ALBUQUERQUE – Luis Mendoza-Alarcon, 46, a Mexican national illegally in the United States, was sentenced today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 144 months of imprisonment for his conviction on federal cocaine trafficking and illegal reentry charges. Mendoza-Alarcon will be deported after completing his prison sentence.
Mendoza-Alarcon and co-defendant Giovanni Montijo-Dominguez, 37, also a Mexican national, were arrested on Oct. 7, 2014, and were charged by criminal complaint with cocaine trafficking offenses. They were indicted on Nov. 5, 2014, and both were charged with cocaine trafficking offenses, while Montijo-Dominguez also was charged with illegal reentry to the United States. Mendoza-Alarcon and Montijo-Dominguez subsequently were charged in a superseding indictment on June 30, 2016. The superseding indictment charged Mendoza-Alarcon and Montijo-Dominguez with conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute from Oct. 3, 2014 through Oct. 7, 2014; Mendoza-Alarcon with carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime on Oct. 7, 2014; and Montijo-Dominguez with illegal reentering the United States on Oct. 7, 2014. According to the superseding indictment, the defendants committed the offenses in Bernalillo County, N.M.
On June 2, 2017, after a two-week trial, a federal jury convicted Mendoza-Alarcon and Montijo-Dominguez of conspiring to possess at least five kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute it to others.
The evidence at trial established that between Oct. 3, 2014 and Oct. 7, 2014, Mendoza-Alarcon negotiated the sale of approximately six kilograms of cocaine from an undercover law enforcement agent. On Oct. 7, 2014, Mendoza-Alarcon and Montijo-Dominguez arrived in a white Chevrolet Tahoe in the parking lot of a store in southwest Albuquerque to meet with undercover agents. Although Mendoza-Alarcon expressed concern to the undercover agents that the parking lot might be occupied by law enforcement, the defendants proceeded with the sale by presenting the undercover agents with a large sum of cash in order to buy six kilograms of cocaine. Law enforcement agents testified that, once the signal to arrest Mendoza-Alarcon and Montijo-Dominguez was given, Montijo-Dominguez attempted to run away, but was quickly caught and arrested. The agents searched the defendants’ white Chevrolet Tahoe, and found a functional firearm loaded with live ammunition.
On July 27, 2017, Montijo-Dominguez pled guilty to Count 3 of the superseding indictment charging him with illegally reentering the United States. Montijo-Dominguez was sentenced on Dec. 12, 2017 to 120 months in prison. He will be deported following his prison sentence.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of Homeland Security Investigations and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Samuel A. Hurtado and Paul Mysliwiec.