Skip to main content
Press Release

Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Trafficking Charge in New Mexico

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Robert Isaac Banda, 29, of El Paso, Texas, pled guilty today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to a methamphetamine trafficking offense arising out of the seizure of more than two pounds of methamphetamine at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in southern New Mexico in Aug. 2018.

U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested Banda on Aug. 9, 2018, after seizing approximately 1.16 kilograms (2.56 pounds) of methamphetamine concealed on Banda’s body.  According to the complaint, the agents found the methamphetamine after conducting a search on Banda’s person and his vehicle at the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint on Highway 70 in Alamogordo, N.M.

During today’s proceedings, Banda pled guilty to a felony information charging him with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  In entering the guilty plea, Banda admitted that on Aug. 9, 2018, he entered a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in Otero County, N.M., where he consented to a canine search of his vehicle and pulled into the secondary inspection area.  Banda admitted that as he got out of his vehicle, the agents noticed a bulge in his pants and subsequently found approximately 1.16 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed on his body.  Banda further admitted that he intended to transport the methamphetamine from Mexico to Roswell, N.M., where he intended to distribute the drugs to others.

At sentencing, Banda faces a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of ten years and a maximum of life in federal prison.  Banda remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the DEA and the U.S. Border Patrol station in Alamogordo.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark A. Saltman is prosecuting the case.

Updated October 16, 2018

Drug Trafficking