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Press Release

Prior Felon from Artesia Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison for Violating Federal Narcotics and Firearms Laws

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Enrique Hernandez, 44, of Artesia, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 120 months in prison for his conviction on federal firearms and methamphetamine trafficking charges.  Hernandez will be on supervised release for five years following his term of incarceration.

Hernandez was arrested on June 5, 2014, by the DEA and the HIDTA Region VI Pecos Valley Drug Task Force (PVDTF) based on a criminal complaint charging him with violating the federal firearms and narcotics laws in Eddy County, N.M.  According to the criminal complaint, Hernandez distributed approximately 20.9 grams of methamphetamine to an individual who was working with law enforcement in Artesia on April 16, 2014 and June 4, 2014.

Court filings also reflect that the DEA and PVDTF found approximately 293 grams of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, firearms, ammunition and $1,908.00 in cash during the execution of a search warrant on Hernandez’s place of business.  At the time Hernandez was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition because he previously had been convicted of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

On Oct. 17, 2014, Hernandez pled guilty to a felony information charging him with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.  Hernandez admitted possessing ten ounces of methamphetamine and several firearms and ammunition in Eddy County on June 5, 2014.  In entering the guilty plea, Hernandez admitted that he intended to provide the methamphetamine to another individual and that he knew it was illegal for him to possess firearms and ammunition because of his status as a convicted felon.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the DEA and the HITDA Region VI Pecos Valley Drug Task Force and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Renee L. Camacho of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.

The HITDA Region VI Pecos Valley Drug Task Force is comprised of officers from the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office, Carlsbad Police Department, Artesia Police Department, New Mexico Probation and Parole, and the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program was created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. HIDTA is a program of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) which provides assistance to federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States and seeks to reduce drug trafficking and production by facilitating coordinated law enforcement activities and information sharing.

Updated November 18, 2015