JUN 26 (ALBUQUERQUE) – Jose Alberto Hernandez, 28, of El Paso, TX, was sentenced this morning in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 46 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release for his methamphetamine trafficking conviction.
Hernandez was arrested on Aug. 7, 2013, on a criminal complaint charging him with participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Doña Ana County, N.M., in Aug. 2013. Subsequently, Hernandez and seven others were indicted and charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Doña Ana County from May 2013 through Aug. 2013.
According to court filings, Hernandez met with undercover DEA agents in El Paso on Aug. 1, 2013, to deliver three pounds of methamphetamine after a co-conspirator in Guadalajara, Mexico, negotiated the deal with one of the undercover agents. During the course of the conspiracy, Hernandez and his co-conspirators sold an aggregate of seven pounds of methamphetamine to the undercover agents.
On Feb. 5, 2014, Hernandez pled guilty to a felony information charging him with participation in a methamphetamine conspiracy, and admitted agreeing with a coconspirator to sell three pounds of methamphetamine to the undercover agents in the parking lot of an apartment complex in El Paso.
Two of Hernandez’s co-defendants, who reside in El Paso, also were arrested on Aug. 7, 2013. Fernando Perches, 31, pleaded guilty to the indictment on Jan. 14, 2014, while Gabriel Garcia-Moreno, 24, entered a similar guilty plea on Feb. 26, 2014. Both are detained pending sentencing hearings and each faces a term of not less than ten years in prison to a maximum of life imprisonment.
Co-defendant Sergio Omar Miranda, 25, a U.S. citizen who resides in Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, was arrested on Sept. 20, 2013. Miranda pleaded guilty on Feb. 14, 2014, to a felony information charging a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy. He is detained pending sentencing when he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Co-defendant Jose R. Rodriguez-Fernandez, 22, of Canutillo, Texas, was arrested on Dec. 16, 2013. Rodriguez-Fernandez pleaded guilty on May 19, 2014, to a felony information charging him with participating in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced.
Co-defendant Evaristo Del Toro Von Ludwitz, 31, a Mexican national from Guadalajara, Mexico, was arrested on May 14, 2014, in McAllen, Texas, and transferred to New Mexico on June 11, 2014. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge in the indictment. Hector Zamora, a Mexican national from Guadalajara, Mexico, and Argelia Zavala-Torres, 30, of El Paso, have yet to be arrested and are considered fugitives. Charges in indictments are merely accusations and these defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the DEA and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark A. Saltman of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.