Tony Torrez Arraigned on Federal Drug Trafficking and Firearms Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – Tony Derrick Torrez, 33, of Albuquerque, N.M., was arraigned today in federal court on an indictment charging him with drug trafficking and firearms charges. Torrez waived a detention hearing and will remain in custody pending trial on the indictment, which has yet to be scheduled.
Torrez was charged in a federal criminal complaint in Oct. 2015, with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and using and carrying firearms in relation to drug trafficking crimes. According to the complaint, Torrez committed these crimes on Oct. 21 and 22, 2015, in Bernalillo County, N.M. Torrez was subsequently charged in a five-count indictment with possessing marijuana with intent to distribute; maintaining a place for the purpose of distributing controlled substances; possession of cocaine, testosterone and its esters; possession of firearms and ammunition by an illegal drug user; and possessing firearms and ammunition in relation to a drug trafficking crime. Torrez allegedly committed these five crimes on Oct. 21, 2015, in Bernalillo County.
According to the criminal complaint, a federal investigation into Torrez began on Oct. 21, 2015, when the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) received a tip about a suspect who shot and killed a child during a road rage incident; the tipster provided a residential address for the suspect. Based on the tip, APD officers conducted surveillance at the residence where they observed a man, subsequently identified as Torrez, load items into a Toyota sedan. APD officers later conducted a traffic stop on the Toyota after a woman drove away from the residence in the Toyota. Shortly thereafter, APD officers conducted a traffic stop on a Lexus sedan that drove away from the residence and identified the driver as Torrez. APD sealed and towed the two vehicles to the APD Crime Lab.
The criminal complaint alleges that later on Oct. 21, 2015, APD executed a state search warrant at the aforementioned residence where they found shoe boxes containing U.S. currency, paraphernalia and other items consistent with the use of marijuana and a substance believed to be “wax,” a concentrated form of THC oil processed from the marijuana plant. Thereafter, the DEA executed a federal search at the residence and seized items and paraphernalia allegedly used for distributing marijuana and manufacturing THC “wax” and oil. DEA agents also seized the U.S. currency as well as documents and items allegedly confirming that Torrez resided at the residence.
On Oct. 22, 2015, DEA agents were present when state search warrants were executed on the Lexus and Toyota sedans. The Lexus allegedly contained a bag containing U.S. currency and a small amount of marijuana. The Toyota allegedly contained bags containing bulk marijuana and marijuana packaged for distribution, two revolvers, two assault rifles, ammunition, a bullet proof vest, a small amount of suspected cocaine, and drug paraphernalia. According to the criminal complaint, the U.S. currency seized from the residence and the Toyota totaled approximately $64,000.00.
If convicted on the charges in the indictment, Torrez faces the following statutory maximum penalties: five years in prison on the marijuana trafficking charge; 20 years in prison for maintaining drug-involved premises; one year in prison for possession of cocaine, testosterone and its esters; and ten years in federal prison for possession of firearms and ammunition by an illegal drug user. Torrez also faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison if convicted of possessing a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime, which must be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed on the other charges.
Charges in criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusations. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque offices of the DEA and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and APD, with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Mysliwiec is prosecuting the case.