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Justice News

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

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Second California Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges Arising out of Conspiracy to Distibute Methamphetamine from California to New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Mario Humberto Llantada, 31, of La Puente, Calif., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to a four-count indictment charging him with methamphetamine trafficking and money laundering charges.  The guilty plea was entered without the benefit of any plea agreement. 

Mario Llantada and his co-defendant Martin Llantada, 41, also of La Puente, Calif., were indicted on March 19, 2014, and charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from Los Angeles, Calif., to Doña Ana County, N.M.  The indictment also charged Mario Llantada with money laundering and using a communication facility in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  On Aug. 14, 2014, the indictment was superseded to add a fourth count, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, against Mario Llantada.

According to court filings, between March 4, 2014 and March 13, 2014, the defendants conspired to sell four pounds of methamphetamine to an undercover FBI agent in Doña Ana County.  The undercover agent negotiated the purchase of the methamphetamine during a series of telephone calls with Mario Llantada, and paid for the drugs by making several large cash deposits into a bank account as directed by Mario Llantada.  Mario Llantada was arrested on March 21, 2014, after he transported two pounds of methamphetamine to New Mexico.

Today, Mario Llantada pled guilty to all four counts of the superseding indictment.  Mario Llantada has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled.  At sentencing, he faces a prison sentence of not less than ten years and not more than life imprisonment.

Co-defendant Martin Llantada was arrested on March 28, 2014, and has been in federal custody since that time.  On Sept. 11, 2014, Martin Llantada pled guilty to Count 1 of the indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute an aggregate of four pounds of methamphetamine in Doña Ana County.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Martin Llantada will be sentenced to a prison sentence of 121 months and not less than five years supervised release.  He remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the FBI and the FBI Riverside RA Gang Impact Team, which is comprised of the FBI, San Bernardino Police Department, San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office and California Highway Patrol.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Y. Armijo of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.

Updated January 26, 2015