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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 23, 2015

Two Arizona Men and a Mexican National Sentenced in New Mexico for Marijuana Trafficking and Firearms Convictions

ALBUQUERQUE – Two Arizona men and a Mexican national illegally in the United States were sentenced today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., for violating the federal narcotics and firearms laws.

Jonathan Gordon Marsh, 28, of Gilbert, Ariz., and Jason Daniel Smith, 27, of Apache Junction, Ariz., were sentenced based on their guilty pleas to marijuana trafficking and firearms charges.  Marsh was sentenced to 61 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release, and Smith was sentenced to 68 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.  Hector Severiano-Borja, 24, of Cuauhtemoc, Mexico, was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison for his conviction on marijuana trafficking charges and his illegal re-entry into the United States.  He will be deported following his prison sentence.

Marsh, Smith, and Severiano-Borja were charged on March 17, 2014, in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute.  Court records reflect that during a routine traffic stop on March 14, 2014, the Lordsburg Police Department and U.S. Border Patrol agents recovered approximately 95 pounds of marijuana and three firearms from the vehicle driven by Marsh and in which Smith and Severiano-Borja were passengers.  The complaint alleged that Marsh and Smith had been hired by an individual in Mesa, Ariz., to pick up Severiano-Borja and the marijuana from milepost 33 on Interstate 10 in Hidalgo County, N.M.

Marsh and Severiano-Borja were subsequently charged on June 18, 2014, in a five-count indictment.  The two men were charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana.  The indictment also charged Marsh with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute; carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime; and transporting an illegal alien, and Severiano-Borja with illegal re-entry into the United States.

Severiano- Borja entered a guilty plea in July 2014, to the conspiracy and the unlawful reentry charges in the indictment without the benefit of a plea agreement.  Marsh pled guilty on Sept. 3, 2014, to a felony information charging him with a marijuana trafficking conspiracy and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.  In entering the guilty plea, Marsh admitted that on March 14, 2014, Smith and he entered into an agreement with others to transport bundles of marijuana with the help of Severiano-Borja who had carried the marijuana from Mexico into the United States.  He also admitted carrying a firearm for protection.

 Smith pled guilty in a separate case on June 17, 2014, to a felony information charging him with conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.  He admitted conspiring with Smith on March 14, 2014, to transport marijuana from Mexico to the United States, with the help of Severiano-Borja.  Smith also admitted the he carried a firearm for protection.

This case was investigated by the Deming office of Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Border Patrol and the Lordsburg Police Department, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brock Taylor of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.

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Updated April 23, 2015