Texas Man Pleads Guilty in New Mexico to Misdemeanor Theft Charge for Stealing Prescription Pain Medication
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of HOPE Initiative Which Seeks to Reduce the Number of Opioid-Related Deaths in New Mexico
Michael Adams, 52, of Horizon, Texas, pled guilty today in Las Cruces, N.M., to a federal misdemeanor theft of government property charge arising out of his theft of prescription pain medication being shipped by the Veterans Administration through the United Parcel Service (UPS). At the time he committed the crime, Adams was employed by UPS.
Adams was charged by a misdemeanor information filed on Dec. 12, 2016, with theft of government property on Aug. 21, 2013. According to the information, Adams committed the crime in Otero County, N.M.
During today’s change of plea hearing, Adams pled guilty to the misdemeanor information and admitted that on Aug. 21, 2013, while employed by UPS in Alamogordo, N.M., he stole a package containing prescription pain medication sent by the Veterans Administration through the UPS.
Under the terms of his plea agreement, Adams will be sentenced to two years of probation and will pay $537.54 in restitution to the victim of his crime. A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of the Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard C. Williams of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office as part of the New Mexico Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative. The HOPE Initiative was launched in January 2015 by the UNM Health Sciences Center and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in response to the national opioid epidemic, which has had a disproportionately devastating impact on New Mexico. Opioid addiction has taken a toll on public safety, public health and the economic viability of our communities. Working in partnership with the DEA, the Bernalillo County Opioid Accountability Initiative, Healing Addiction in our Community (HAC), the Albuquerque Public Schools and other community stakeholders, HOPE’s principal goals are to protect our communities from the dangers associated with heroin and opioid painkillers and reducing the number of opioid-related deaths in New Mexico.
The HOPE Initiative is comprised of five components: (1) prevention and education; (2) treatment; (3) law enforcement; (4) reentry; and (5) strategic planning. HOPE’s law enforcement component is led by the Organized Crime Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA in conjunction with their federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners. Targeting members of major heroin and opioid trafficking organizations for investigation and prosecution is a priority of the HOPE Initiative. Learn more about the New Mexico HOPE Initiative at http://www.HopeInitiativeNM.org.