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Press Release

Sierra County Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Ruben David Martinez, III, 29, of Truth or Consequences, N.M., pled guilty yesterday afternoon in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to methamphetamine trafficking charges under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Martinez was arrested in May 2016, and charged by criminal complaint with possession of methamphetamine and heroin with intent to distribute on May 16, 2016, in Sierra County, N.M.  According to the criminal complaint, Martinez threw plastic bags containing more than 40 grams of methamphetamine and 9.22 grams of heroin from his vehicle as he fled from law enforcement officers who were attempting to execute a traffic stop on his vehicle for a traffic violation.  After the officers apprehended Martinez, they executed a search warrant on his vehicle and residence and seized 69.8 grams of methamphetamine, pills, multiple cellular phones, cash and drug paraphernalia.

During yesterday’s change of plea hearing, Martinez pled guilty to a felony information charging him with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  In entering the guilty plea, Martinez admitted that on May 16, 2016, he possessed approximately 49 grams of methamphetamine when Sierra County Sheriff’s Office deputies initiated a traffic stop and later arrested him.  Martinez further admitted that he intended to distribute the methamphetamine to other people.

At sentencing, Martinez faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.  Martinez remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of Homeland Security Investigations, the New Mexico State Police and the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Beck of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office is prosecuting the case.

Updated August 31, 2016

Drug Trafficking