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Press Release

Resident Alien from Mexico Sentenced to 70 Months for Federal Heroin Trafficking Conviction

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of HOPE Initiative which Seeks to Reduce the Number of Opioid-Related Deaths in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Francisco Hernandez-Hernandez, 24, a resident alien from Chihuahua, Mexico, who resides in Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced this morning in federal court in Santa Fe, N.M., to 70 months in prison for his heroin trafficking conviction. He will be deported after completing his prison sentence.

Hernandez-Hernandez was arrested on May 4, 2014, on an indictment charging him with participation in a heroin trafficking conspiracy and using communication devices to facilitate drug trafficking crimes.  On Oct. 13, 2015, Hernandez-Hernandez entered a guilty plea to a heroin distribution conspiracy charge and admitted being a member of a heroin distribution conspiracy. 

In his plea agreement, Hernandez-Hernandez admitted joining the conspiracy in Dec. 2013, and participated in its activities until April 2014.  Hernandez-Hernandez acknowledged that he delivered and sold heroin provided by organizers and managers of the conspiracy.  On a typical day, he sold heroin to 30 customers.  Hernandez-Hernandez also provided direction and guidance to less experienced deliverymen and helped coordinate delivery of the conspiracy’s heroin.

The plea agreement states that in April 2014, Hernandez-Hernandez traveled to California at the direction of the conspiracy’s organizer.  In California, Hernandez-Hernandez purchased 750 grams of heroin which was concealed in a loudspeaker box.  During his return to New Mexico, he detoured to Colorado where he left the heroin in a relative’s home after learning that law enforcement authorities were investigating the conspiracy’s drug trafficking activities.  Hernandez-Hernandez was subsequently detained by law enforcement authorities and the heroin he left in Colorado was surrendered to law enforcement.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the DEA with assistance from the Albuquerque Police Department and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy S. Vasquez pursuant to the New Mexico Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative.  The HOPE Initiative is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center that is partnering with the Bernalillo County Opioid Accountability Initiative with the overriding goal of reducing the number of opioid-related deaths in the District of New Mexico.  The HOPE Initiative comprised of five components:  (1) prevention and education; (2) treatment; (3) law enforcement; (4) reentry; and (5) strategic planning.  The law enforcement component of the HOPE Initiative is led by the Organized Crime Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA in conjunction with their federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners.  Targeting members of major heroin trafficking organizations for investigation and prosecution is a priority of the HOPE Initiative.

Updated February 18, 2016

Drug Trafficking