Santa Fe County Man Pleads Guilty to Violating Federal Firearms Law
ALBUQUERQUE – Brandon Maestas, 32, of Nambe, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to violating the federal firearms laws by using and carrying firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Maestas was arrested on March 4, 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with violating federal drug trafficking and firearms laws. According to the complaint, law enforcement officers found approximately 150 grams of cocaine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and multiple firearms and ammunition while executing a state search warrant at Maestas’ residence in Nambe, N.M.
Maestas was indicted on March 23, 2016, and charged with drug trafficking and firearms offenses. The indictment, which was superseded on April 11, 2017, charged Maestas with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, maintaining a residence for the purpose of drug trafficking, unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, and possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. According to the superseding indictment, Maestas committed the crimes on Feb. 19, 2016, in Santa Fe County, N.M.
During today’s proceedings, Maestas pled guilty to Count 4 of the superseding indictment charging him with possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. In entering the guilty plea, Maestas admitted that on Feb. 19, 2016, he possessed four pistols and multiple rounds of ammunition in relation to a drug trafficking crime, specifically possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
At sentencing, Maestas faces a mandatory penalty of five years in federal prison. Maestas remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and the HIDTA Region III Narcotics Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Letitia C. Simms is prosecuting the case.
The HIDTA – High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area – Program is a program of the White House Office National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) that facilitates cooperation among federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement to foster intelligence sharing and to support the execution of effective enforcement operations aimed at dismantling drug trafficking organization in critical drug trafficking regions of the United States. The HIDTA Region III Narcotics Task Force is comprised of the New Mexico State Police, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office and the Santa Fe Police Department.