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Justice News

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

Monday, January 4, 2016

Roswell Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking Charge

ALBUQUERQUE – Richard Escobar, 69, of Roswell, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to a methamphetamine trafficking charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Escobar was arrested in Jan. 2015, on a criminal complaint charging him with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute on Dec. 24, 2014, in Chaves County, N.M.  According to the complaint, on Dec. 24, 2014, the Chaves County Metro Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant on Escobar’s residence, vehicle and a storage unit, and seized approximately 312.2 grams of methamphetamine, $17,620.00 in cash, drug paraphernalia, and a firearm and ammunition.  Escobar was subsequently indicted on the same charge on June 17, 2015. 

During today’s proceedings, Escobar pleaded guilty to the indictment and admitted that on Dec. 24, 2014, officers found 312 grams of methamphetamine in a closet in his bedroom.   Escobar also admitted that he intended to distribute the methamphetamine to others. 

At sentencing, Escobar faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison followed by not less than three years of supervised release.  Escobar was remanded into custody after entering his guilty plea.  He will remain detained pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Roswell office of the FBI and the Chaves County Metro Narcotics Task Force.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office is prosecuting the case.

The HIDTA Chaves County Metro Narcotics Task Force is comprised of investigators from the Roswell Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the FBI and the Chaves County Sherriff’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 January 4, 2016