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Press Release

Mexican Nationals Plead Guilty to Heroin Trafficking Charges Arising Out of Ten Pound Heroin Seizure in New Mexico

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Defendants Prosecuted as Part of HOPE Initiative which Seeks to Reduce the Number of Opioid-Related Deaths in New Mexico.

ALBUQUERQUE – Ignacio Nieblas, Jr., 22, a Mexican national residing in Berino, N.M., and Bryan Gabriel Marquez-Flores Jr., 19, a Mexican national residing in Phoenix, Ariz., pleaded guilty today to heroin trafficking charges in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M.

Nieblas and Marquez-Flores were arrested on a criminal complaint charging them with possession of heroin with intent to distribute after the DEA seized 4.65 kilograms (10.416 pounds) of heroin from them during an interdiction investigation at the Amtrak Train Station in Albuquerque on Feb. 5, 2016.  The heroin was concealed inside the men’s luggage.

Nieblas and Marquez-Flores were subsequently indicted on Feb. 24, 2016, and charge with conspiracy to distribute heroin and possession of heroin with intent to distribute on Feb. 5, 2016, in Bernalillo County, N.M.

During today’s proceedings, Nieblas and Marquez-Flores both pled guilty to felony informations charging them with conspiracy and possession of heroin with intent to distribute.  Each admitted that on Feb. 5, 2016, they conspired with others to deliver the heroin seized from them to an intended destination.

At sentencing, Nieblas and Marquez-Flores each face a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. Both men remain in custody pending sentencing hearings which have yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the DEA.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel A. Hurtado prosecuted the case pursuant to the New Mexico Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative.  The HOPE Initiative is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center that is partnering with the Bernalillo County Opioid Accountability Initiative with the overriding goal of reducing the number of opioid-related deaths in the District of New Mexico.  The HOPE Initiative comprised of five components:  (1) prevention and education; (2) treatment; (3) law enforcement; (4) reentry; and (5) strategic planning.  The law enforcement component of the HOPE Initiative is led by the Organized Crime Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA in conjunction with their federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners.  Targeting members of major heroin trafficking organizations for investigation and prosecution is a priority of the HOPE Initiative.

Updated March 25, 2016

Drug Trafficking