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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Previously convicted felon sentenced to 15 years in prison for federal drug trafficking, firearms offenses

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, announced that Gabriel “Karma” Blea was sentenced on Nov. 8 to a term of 15 years in prison. Blea, 25, of Albuquerque, pleaded guilty on July 13 to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute 50 grams and more of methamphetamine, and possessing a firearm during and in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

In May of 2021, Blea set up a deal to trade approximately half a pound of methamphetamine for five firearms. Unbeknownst to Blea at the time, the other parties in the transaction were undercover agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). On May 5, 2021, in Albuquerque, Blea, driven by his co-defendant, Gabriel Villasenor, arrived at the arranged meeting location with the methamphetamine in a backpack and a loaded .45 caliber pistol in his waistband. Agents took Blea into custody, and apprehended Villasenor after a brief chase.

In his plea agreement, Blea admitted that on June 4, 2021, he fled from federal custody in an effort to avoid prosecution and sentencing in this case.

On Sept. 2, Villasenor pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. As a previously convicted felon, Villasenor cannot legally possess a firearm or ammunition. By the terms of his plea agreement, Villasenor faces 92 to 115 months in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2023.

Upon his release from prison, Blea will be subject to five years of supervised release.

ATF and the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Jaymie L. Roybal prosecuted the case.

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Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 
22-250
Updated November 9, 2022