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Justice News

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

Monday, May 23, 2016

Mexican Nationals Arrested in New Mexico on Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking Charges

Charges Arise out of Seizure of 65 Pounds of Methamphetamine

ALBUQUERQUE – Two Mexican nationals are facing federal drug trafficking charges arising out of a seizure of 65-pounds of methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Waldemar Rodriguez of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in El Paso, and New Mexico State Police (NMSP) Chief Pete N. Kassetas.

Mario Osorio-Espinoza, 33, and Victor Hugo Lagarica-Salazar, 53, both of whom are illegally in the United States and reside in Lynwood, Calif. made their initial appearances today in federal court on methamphetamine trafficking charges.  The two men remain in custody pending preliminary hearings and detention hearings scheduled for tomorrow.

Osorio-Espinoza and Lagarica-Salazar were arrested on May 19, 2016, after NMSP officers discovered approximately 29.54 gross kilograms (65.12 pounds) of methamphetamine hidden in their vehicle during a routine traffic stop in Bernalillo County, N.M.

If convicted of the charges in the criminal complaint, Osorio-Espinoza and Lagarica-Salazar each face a statutory mandatory minimum of ten years and a maximum of life in federal prison.  Charges in criminal complaints are merely accusations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Presiliano Torrez is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the Albuquerque office of HSI and the NMSP.

Drug Trafficking
Updated May 23, 2016