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Press Release

Texas Woman Sentenced to Prison for Federal Cocaine Trafficking Conviction in New Mexico

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Charge Arises out of Seizure of Almost Nine Pounds of Cocaine

ALBUQUERQUE – Candy May Gonzales, 34, of Canutillo, Texas, entered a guilty plea today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to cocaine trafficking charges arising from the seizure of 4.06 kilograms (8.95 pounds) of cocaine at the U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint near Las Cruces.  Immediately following the change of plea hearing, Gonzales was sentenced to 37 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release.

The DEA arrested Gonzales and co-defendant Carlos Ivan Todd, 31, also of Canutillo, Texas, in Oct. 2017, on a criminal complaint charging them with possession of 4.0 kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute in Dona Ana County, N.M.  According to the complaint, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested Todd and Gonzales at the U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint on I-25 near Las Cruces after the agents seized three bundles of cocaine concealed in the vehicle in which Todd and Gonzales were traveling. 

Gonzales subsequently was indicted and charged with participating in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy from Aug. 2017 through Oct. 8, 2017, and possessing cocaine with intent to distribute on Oct. 8, 2017.  According to the indictment, Gonzales committed the offenses in Dona Ana County. 

During today’s proceedings, Gonzales pled guilty to a felony information charging her with conspiracy and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.  In entering the guilty plea, Gonzales admitted that on Oct. 8, 2017, she and her co-defendant drove a vehicle containing approximately 4.06 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a compartment in the vehicle into the U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint on I-25 north of Las Cruces.  Gonzales further admitted that she and her co-defendant agreed with others to drive the cocaine from El Paso, Texas to Albuquerque, N.M., where the drugs would be distributed further.

On Jan. 4, 2018, Todd pled guilty to similar charges, and was sentenced on May 16, 2018.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the DEA and the U.S. Border Patrol.  Assistant U.S. Attorney John Balla of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office prosecuted the case.

Updated September 6, 2018

Drug Trafficking