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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 4, 2015

Prior Felon from San Juan County Sentenced to Fifteen Years in Federal Prison for Drug Trafficking and Firearms Conviction

Defendant Prosecuted Under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – Casey Wayne Stallings, 30, of Kirtland, N.M., was sentenced this afternoon in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., for his conviction on methamphetamine trafficking and firearm charges.  Stallings was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Waldemar Rodriguez of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in El Paso, Texas, and Commander Kyle Dowdy of the Region II HITDA Narcotics Task Force noted that Stallings was prosecuted as part of a federal anti-violence initiative that targets “the worst of the worst” offenders for federal prosecution.  Under this initiative, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal law enforcement agencies work with New Mexico’s District Attorneys and state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to target violent or repeat offenders for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.

Stallings and his co-defendant, Jessica Chance Lucero, 25, of Albuquerque, were arrested on May 22, 2014, on an indictment charging them with methamphetamine trafficking and firearms charges.  Counts 1 and 2 charged Stallings and Lucero with conspiracy and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  Count 3 charged them with using and carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime. Counts 4 and 5 respectively charged Stallings and Lucero with being felons in possession of a firearm.  According to the indictment, the defendants committed the five offenses in San Juan County, N.M., on Jan. 27, 2014.

On Feb. 11, 2015, Stallings pled guilty to Counts 2 and 3 of the indictment.  In his plea agreement, Stallings admitted that he was a drug dealer and that on Jan. 27, 2014, he possessed a large quantity of methamphetamine at his residence that he intended to sell to his drug customers.  Stallings also admitted keeping a firearm in his residence for the purpose of protecting himself from drug customers and other drug dealers who might try to rob him.  He also acknowledged that he was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition due to his previous felony convictions for robbery, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Lucero also pled guilty on Feb. 11, 2015.  Lucero entered a guilty plea to a felony information charging her with misprision of a felony, and admitted that on Jan. 27, 2014, she failed to report to law enforcement that Stallings was committing federal felony offenses at their residence.  More specifically, she admitted knowing that Stallings was selling methamphetamine out of their residence and that he possessed a firearm despite his status as a convicted felon.  Lucero was sentenced to five years of probation.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of Homeland Security Investigations and the Region II HIDTA Narcotics Task Force, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lynn Wei-Yu Wang and Samuel A. Hurtado.

The Region II HIDTA Narcotics Task Force is comprised of officers from the Farmington Police Department, San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, Bloomfield Police Department and Aztec Police Department.  It is part of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program which 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.

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Updated June 4, 2015