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Press Release

Mexican Nationals Plead Guilty to Federal Cocaine Trafficking Charges

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Two Mexican nationals pled guilty yesterday in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to cocaine trafficking charges under plea agreements with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Luzelena Lopez, 41, and Alma Ivonne Chavez-Guevara, 35, both Mexican nationals, were arrested in Nov. 2015, and charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute on Nov. 11, 2015, in Otero County, N.M.  According to the criminal complaint, Lopez and Chavez-Guevara were arrested after U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Border Patrol Checkpoint on Highway 70 in Otero County, found approximately 8.7 kilograms (19.22 pounds) of cocaine wrapped in eight bundles inside a duffel bag in their vehicle.

During yesterday’s proceedings, Lopez and Chavez-Guevara pled guilty to a felony information charging them with conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute.  Both women admitted that on Nov. 11, 2015, they were stopped at the Border Patrol Checkpoint on Highway 70.  During an inspection of their vehicle, Chavez Guevara admitted that she was present in the United States without permission.  Thereafter, the agents found the cocaine in a duffel bag on the rear passenger floorboard.  Lopez and Chavez-Guevara admitted that they previously agreed with each other and others to deliver the cocaine to Kansas in exchange for payment.

At sentencing, Lopez and Chavez-Guevara each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.  Both women will be deported following their incarceration.  Lopez and Chavez-Guevara remain in custody pending sentencing hearings which have yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the DEA and the Alamogordo station of the U.S. Border Patrol.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy M. Castellano of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office is prosecuting the case.

Updated March 10, 2016

Drug Trafficking