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Press Release

Two Mexican Nationals Ordered Detained Pending Trial on Federal Heroin Trafficking Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Defendants Prosecuted as Part of HOPE Initiative which Seeks to Reduce the Number of Opioid-Related Deaths in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – This morning a U.S. Magistrate Judge sitting in Albuquerque, N.M., found probable cause to support a criminal complaint charging Francisco Rodriguez-Moreno, 26, and Octavio Lopez-Ramirez, 31, both Mexican nationals, with heroin trafficking offenses.  Both men, who are illegally in the United States and residing in Albuquerque, were ordered detained pending trial.

Rodriguez-Moreno and Lopez-Ramirez were arrested on March 2, 2016, by the DEA and the HIDTA Region III Narcotics Task Force after they executed searches on Rodriguez-Moreno’s vehicle and the residence in which both men reside.  The agents allegedly seized 425 gross grams of heroin from Rodriguez-Moreno’s vehicle and 1070.6 gross grams of heroin from the residence.  The agents also allegedly seized more than $8000 and drug paraphernalia from the residence and more than $7000 from Rodriguez-Moreno.  

If convicted of the crimes charged in the criminal complaint, Rodriguez-Moreno and Lopez-Ramirez face a statutory minimum of ten years and a maximum of life in federal prison.    Charges in criminal complaints are merely accusations.  All criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the DEA and the HIDTA Region III Narcotics Task Force. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Presiliano Torrez is prosecuting the case as part of the New Mexico Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative.  The HOPE Initiative is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center that is partnering with the Bernalillo County Opioid Accountability Initiative with the overriding goal of reducing the number of opioid-related deaths in the District of New Mexico.  The HOPE Initiative comprised of five components:  (1) prevention and education; (2) treatment; (3) law enforcement; (4) reentry; and (5) strategic planning.  The law enforcement component of the HOPE Initiative is led by the Organized Crime Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA in conjunction with their federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners.  Targeting members of major heroin trafficking organizations for investigation and prosecution is a priority of the HOPE Initiative.

The HIDTA – High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area – Program is a program of the White House Office National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) that facilitates cooperation among federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement to foster intelligence sharing and to support the execution of effective enforcement operations aimed at dismantling drug trafficking organization in critical drug trafficking regions of the United States.  The HIDTA Region III Narcotics Task Force is comprised of the New Mexico State Police, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office and the Santa Fe Police Department.

Updated March 4, 2016

Drug Trafficking