Trio From Rio Arriba County Face Federal Heroin Trafficking Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – A federal grand jury has indicted three men from Rio Arriba County, N.M., on heroin trafficking charges.
The five-count indictment, which was filed on Oct. 30, 2013, charges Jose Enrique Ontiveros-Soto, 33, a Mexican national unlawfully in the United States and residing in Arroyo Seco, N.M., Jorge Acosta-Sanchez, 20, of Espanola, N.M., and Guadalupe Alcantar, 19, of Medanales, N.M., with participating in a conspiracy to distribute heroin in Rio Arriba County between Aug. 22, 2013 and Sept. 25, 2013.
The indictment also includes four substantive heroin distribution offenses. Count 2 charges Acosta-Sanchez and Alcantar with distributing heroin on Aug. 22, 2013. Count 3 charges Ontiveros-Soto and Alcantar with distributing heroin on Aug. 28, 2013. Count 4 charges Ontiveros-Soto and Acosta-Sanchez with distributing heroin on Sept. 11, 2013, and Count 5 charges Ontiverso-Soto only with distributing heroin on Sept. 25, 2013.
Ontiveros-Soto and Alcantar were arrested on Nov. 1, 2013, and made their initial appearances in federal court yesterday. This morning, both men were arraigned on the indictment and ordered detained pending trial. Acosta-Sanchez was arrested yesterday and made his initial appearance in federal court this morning. He remains in custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for tomorrow.
If convicted on the charges in the indictment, the defendants each face a prison term of not less than five years and not more than 40 years. Indictments are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until convicted beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the DEA, the New Mexico State Police and the HIDTA Region III Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jon K. Stanford.
The HIDTA Region III Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force (Region III) is comprised of officers from the New Mexico State Police, Santa Fe Police Department and the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office. Region III was first funded in 1999 to address the heroin problem in Rio Arriba and Santa Fe Counties, an area that leads the nation in per capita heroin-related overdose deaths. It is an investigative/enforcement initiative that targets and dismantles poly-drug (primarily heroin and cocaine) trafficking organizations. Region III is part of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program which was created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. HIDTA is a program of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) which provides assistance to federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States and seeks to reduce drug trafficking and production by facilitating coordinated law enforcement activities and information sharing.