Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Trafficking Charge Arising Out of Seizure of More Than Ten Pounds of Cocaine in New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE – Luis Abelardo Ibarra, 36, of Fort Worth, Texas, pled guilty today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to a cocaine trafficking charge arising out of the seizure of more than ten pounds of cocaine during a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint inspection. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Ibarra will be sentenced to six years in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. Ibarra also will be required to forfeit $12,878 seized from him and his co-defendant during the checkpoint inspection.
Ibarra and his co-defendant Claudio M. Martinez, Jr., 47, also of Hobbs, were arrested in May 2013, on a criminal complaint alleging that they possessed approximately 4.76 kilograms (10.49 pounds) of cocaine in Luna County, N.M. According to the complaint, Ibarra and Martinez were arrested after U.S. Border Patrol agents at the U.S. Border Patrol station on State Highway in Luna County seized cocaine, cash and drug paraphernalia from the vehicle in which Ibarra and Martinez were traveling.
Ibarra and Martinez were subsequently indicted on Aug. 14, 2013, and charged with conspiracy and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute on May 23, 2013, in Luna County.
During today’s proceedings, Ibarra pled guilty to a felony information charging him with conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute, and admitted that on May 24, 2013, he and Martinez concealed five bricks of cocaine weighing 4.76 kilograms in a cooler and transported it into New Mexico. Ibarra remains in custody pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
Martinez pled guilty to the indictment in June 2014, and was sentenced in Sept. 2014, to six years in prison followed by five years of supervised release.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the DEA and the U.S. Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa A. Ong of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office is prosecuting the case.