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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 9, 2014

Portales Man Sentenced to Ten Years in Federal Prison for Trafficking Methamphetamine in Roosevelt County, N.M.

ALBUQUERQUE – Jesus Jose Ornelas-Yanez, 39, of Portales, N.M., was sentenced yesterday to 121 months years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for his methamphetamine trafficking conviction.  He also was ordered to pay a $17,500.00 fine.

Ornelas-Yanez was arrested on Dec. 18, 2012, on a criminal complaint alleging that he violated the federal immigration laws by re-entering the United States without permission after he previously had been deported.  He has been in federal custody since that time. 

On Feb. 6, 2013, Ornelas-Yanez and a co-defendant, Tomas Garcia, 56, a Mexican national illegally residing in Portales, were indicted and charged with conspiracy and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  It also charged Ornelas-Yanez with unlawful reentry of a removed alien.  According to the indictment, Ornelas-Yanez and Garcia conspired on Dec. 12, 2012, to distribute methamphetamine in Roosevelt County, N.M., and possessed methamphetamine on that date with the intention of distributing it to another person.

On June 26, 2013, Ornelas-Yanez entered a guilty plea to Count 2 of the indictment charging him with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  Ornelas-Yanez admitted that prior to Dec. 12, 2012 he agreed to sell a pound of methamphetamine on consignment to a confidential informant and allowed the informant to send a courier to pick up the methamphetamine.  The courier turned out to be a DEA agent working in an undercover capacity.  Ornelas-Yanez admitted that on Dec. 12, 2012, he instructed the DEA agent to pick up the methamphetamine from Garcia at a convenience store in Portales, N.M.  Subsequent lab analysis revealed that the substance obtained by the DEA agent from Garcia was 443.9 grams of actual methamphetamine.

Garcia pled guilty to Counts 1 and 2 of the indictment charging him with conspiracy and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute on July 17, 2013.  On Oct. 17, 2013, Garcia was sentenced to 24 months in prison.  He will be deported when he completes his prison sentence. 

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the DEA, the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lynn W.Y. Wang and Linda Mott prosecuted the case.

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Updated January 26, 2015