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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Valencia County Man Sentenced to Five Years for Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking Conviction

ALBUQUERQUE – Joseph Baldonado, 30, of Los Lunas, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 60 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release for his methamphetamine trafficking conviction. 

Baldonado was arrested in Jan. 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with distribution of methamphetamine in Valencia County, N.M.  According to the complaint, Baldonado sold quantities of methamphetamine to an undercover agent on the following dates: 58.2 ounces on Jan. 6, 2016, 58.8 ounces on Jan. 12, 2016, and 57.2 ounces on Jan. 22, 2016.

Baldonado was subsequently indicted on Feb. 9, 2016, and charged with three counts of distribution of methamphetamine on Jan. 6, 12, and 22, 2016, in Valencia County. 

On April 15, 2016, Baldonado pled guilty to Count 3 of the indictment charging him with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  In entering the guilty plea, Baldonado admitted possessing more than 50 grams of methamphetamine on Jan. 22, 2016, and selling it to another person for $1,600. 

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the DEA and the HIDTA Region I Narcotics Task Force and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eva M. Fontanez.

The HIDTA Region I Narcotics Task Force is comprised of the Albuquerque Police Department, Albuquerque office of the DEA, Pojoaque Tribal Police Department, Rio Rancho Police Department, Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office and the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office.  The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program 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.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated July 26, 2016