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Press Release

U.S. Citizen Formerly Residing in Mexico Sentenced for Trafficking More Than 1,000 Pounds of Marijuana in New Mexico

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Mario Talavera, 34, was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 78 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for his conviction on marijuana trafficking charges. Until his arrest in this case, Talavera, a U.S. citizen, resided in Juarez, Mexico.


Talavera and eight co-defendants were charged in an indictment filed on Sept. 9, 2008, with conspiracy and marijuana trafficking offenses. The indictment was superseded on Oct. 8, 2008, to include two additional defendants. The superseding indictment charged Talavera and his ten co-defendants with conspiracy to possess more than 1000 kilograms of marijuana from March 2005 through Sept. 2008. It also charged Talavera and a co-defendant with possessing more than 100 kilograms of marijuana with intent to distribute on July 5, 2008. According to the superseding indictment, Talavera and his co-defendants committed the crimes in Bernalillo County, N.M.


Talavera was arrested on the charges in the superseding indictment in March 2015. On May 27, 2016, he pled guilty to Count 2 of the superseding indictment charging him with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. In entering the guilty plea, Talavera admitted that on July 5, 2008, Albuquerque Police Department (APD) officers found approximately 495.91 kilograms (1,091 pounds) of marijuana hidden in the bed of his truck during a traffic stop.


To date, nine of the ten co-defendants have pled guilty and have been sentenced. Cruz Lopez-Acevedo, 41, a Mexican national, is in custody in Mexico and is pending proceedings to determine whether he will be extradited to the United States to face the charges against him in New Mexico federal court. Charges in complaints and indictments are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the DEA and APD. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine Y. Ramirez is prosecuting the case.

Updated February 22, 2017

Drug Trafficking