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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 5, 2018

Tony Torrez Sentenced to 101 Months for Federal Drug Trafficking and Firearms Conviction

Torrez will Serve Federal Sentence Consecutive to the 16 Years Torrez already is Serving on a State Conviction

ALBUQUERQUE – Tony Derrick Torrez, 34, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court to 101 months of incarceration for his conviction on drug trafficking and firearms charges.  Torrez will be on supervised release for five years after completing his prison sentence.  Torrez’ federal sentence will run consecutive to the 16-year sentence Torrez already is serving on a state conviction.  During today’s sentencing hearing, Torrez also was ordered to forfeit to the United States $64,000.00 in drug proceeds, firearms and ammunition seized during the investigation of the federal case.

Torrez’s federal sentence was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney James D. Tierney, Special Agent in Charge Karen I. Flowers of the El Paso Division of the DEA, Special Agent in Charge John J. Durastanti, Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Chief of Police Michael Geier of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD).

“The federal law enforcement community responded to the tragic, senseless death of an innocent child by doing its part to ensure that Tony Torrez spent as much time as possible behind prison walls to contemplate the impact of his actions,” said Acting U.S. Attorney James D. Tierney.  “Whether it was shooting into a moving vehicle, or selling drugs in our neighborhoods, Mr. Torrez’ actions endangered our kids, and the federal law enforcement community is working hand-in-hand with the Albuquerque Police Department to keep our kids safe.” 

“The sentencing today of Tony Torrez sends a message to all who continually engage in violent criminal activity and the distribution of illegal drugs:  we will work together with our federal and state and local counterparts to see that anyone involved in violence and this illicit trade will be brought to justice,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Karen I. Flowers.

“Today’s sentencing of Tony Torrez sends a loud and clear message to the worst of the worst offenders that too often plague our communities.  Our goal is simple, to put violent, repeat offenders such as Torrez, behind bars for as long as possible, and keep them from interacting with the good people of New Mexico,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge John J. Durastanti. “ATF will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to target armed violent criminals who spread violence on the streets of Albuquerque, and in doing so we will make our community a safer place for all.”

“It is important for the community to know that offenders like Tony Torrez are being held accountable for their crimes,” said APD Chief Michael Geier.  “Our partnership with federal law enforcement agencies is a critical tool in our effort to keep Albuquerque safe.”

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.  The criminal complaint charged Torrez with committing the crimes on Oct. 21 and 22, 2015, in Bernalillo County, N.M.  Torrez subsequently was 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.  The indictment asserted that Torrez committed these five crimes on Oct. 21, 2015, in Bernalillo County.         

According to court filings, the federal investigation into Torrez began on Oct. 21, 2015, when 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.

On Oct. 21, 2015, APD executed a state search warrant at the aforementioned residence where they found shoeboxes 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 warrant on Torrez’s residence and the two vehicles and seized items and paraphernalia used for distributing marijuana and possibly for the manufacturing THC “wax” and oil.  From the vehicles, the officers seized a bag with U.S. currency, marijuana, firearms and ammunition, a bullet-proof vest, a small amount of suspected cocaine, and drug paraphernalia.  Court filings indicate that approximately $64,000.00 in cash was seized from Torrez’s residence and vehicles.

On April 27, 2017, Torrez pled guilty to all five counts of the indictment.  In his plea agreement, Torrez admitted possessing marijuana in Oct. 2015 that he intended to distribute to others as well as illegal steroids for his personal use.  Torrez also admitted possessing several firearms while he was using the illegal steroids to protect himself from the dangers of the drug trafficking business.  Finally, Torrez admitted using his residence to store marijuana he sold.

Torrez previously pled guilty in Dec. 2016, to state court charges arising out of the murder of a child during the Oct. 21, 2015 road rage incident, and was sentenced to a 16-year term of imprisonment. 

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque offices of the DEA and ATF and APD, with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul Mysliwiec and Nicholas Ganjei prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated February 5, 2018