Prior Felon from Artesia Pleads Guilty to Violating Federal Firearms and Drug Trafficking Laws
ALBUQUERQUE – Ronald Troy Bettencourt, 55, of Artesia, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to violating the federal firearms and drug trafficking laws.
Bettencourt was arrested on Sept. 1, 2015, on an indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition on Jan. 23, 2014; distributing methamphetamine on Jan. 23, 2014; and being a felon in possession of explosives on March 18, 2014. According to the indictment, Bettencourt committed the crimes in Eddy County, N.M. At the time, Bettencourt was prohibited from possessing firearms, ammunition or explosives because he previously had been convicted of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance, embezzlement, and fraud.
During today’s proceedings, Bettencourt pled guilty to the indictment without the benefit of a plea agreement. At sentencing, Bettencourt faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated the Las Cruces office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Y. Armijo is prosecuting the case.