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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

San Juan County Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking and Firearms Charges

Co-Defendant Pleads Guilty to Misprision of a Felony

ALBUQUERQUE – Casey Wayne Stallings, 30, of Kirtland, N.M., entered a guilty plea in federal court this morning to methamphetamine trafficking and firearm charges.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Stallings will be sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.  His co-defendant, Jessica Chance Lucero, 25, also of Kirtland, N.M., entered a guilty plea to misprision of a felony.

Stallings and Lucero 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 the defendants 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.

During today’s change of plea hearing, 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 that he kept a firearm in his residence for the purpose of protecting himself from drug customers and other drug dealers who might try to rob him.  Stallings admitted that he was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition due to his previous felony convictions of charges of robbery, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Lucero pled guilty to an 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, Lucero admitted knowing that Stallings was selling methamphetamine out of their residence and that he possessed a firearm despite his status as a convicted felon.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Stallings will be sentenced to 15 years in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.  Lucero faces a statutory maximum penalty of three years of imprisonment of three years.  Their sentencing hearings have yet to be scheduled.

 This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of Homeland Security Investigations and the Region II HIDTA Narcotics Task Force.  The case is being 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 February 12, 2015