October 18, 2012
Contact: Lucy Holcomb
Phone Number: (915) 832-6000
Federal Investigation Dismantles Deming-Based Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Nine individuals, who allegedly participated in a Deming, N.M., based conspiracy to distribute large quantities of methamphetamine, have been charged with narcotics trafficking offenses in a federal indictment that was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico in Las Cruces.
The indictment was announced by Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’(DEA) El Paso Field Division, Joseph M. Arabit; U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales; Acting Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security (HSI), Dennis A. Ulrich II; and Special Agent in Charge of the Albuquerque Division of the Federal Bureau of (FBI), Carol K.O. Lee.
The indictment charges the defendants with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine between April 2012 and Oct. 2012. The indictment, which also includes seven substantive drug trafficking charges, alleges that members of the conspiracy distributed large quantities of methamphetamine in southern New Mexico communities, including Deming, Las Cruces and Sunland Park. The eight-count indictment seeks forfeiture of property and proceeds derived from or involved in the defendants’ illegal activities.
The indictment is the result of a multi-agency investigation led by the DEA office in Las Cruces, the Homeland Security Investigations office in Las Cruces, the FBI office in Roswell, and the Las Cruces Metro Narcotics Agency, that was designated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (“OCDETF”) program. OCDETF is a nationwide Department of Justice initiative that combines the resources and unique expertise of federal agencies, along with their local counterparts, in a coordinated effort to disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations.
This morning, federal, state and local law enforcement officers executed a coordinated series of law enforcement operations that resulted in the arrests of six of the defendants charged in the indictment. They also executed three search warrants at residences in Deming, Las Cruces, and Albuquerque. Two defendants were arrested in Odessa, Texas; one in Deming; one in Las Cruces; one in Albuquerque; and one in Tucson, Ariz. One defendant is already in federal custody on related charges. Two defendants have yet to be apprehended and are considered fugitives. The six defendants arrested today will make their initial appearances in Las Cruces federal court on Oct. 19, 2012.
Two additional defendants were arrested outside of Las Cruces in possession of three ounces of methamphetamine. They will be charged with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and will make their initial appearance in Las Cruces federal court on Oct. 19, 2012.
The investigation was initiated early in 2012, when DEA and HSI agents, who were acting in undercover capacities, were able to infiltrate the conspiracy. The indictment alleges that for a seven month period, the undercover agents had a series of meetings with members of the conspiracy during which they negotiated numerous transactions involving large quantities of methamphetamine. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement officers seized and purchased approximately two gross kilograms of methamphetamine and seized approximately $235,206 in cash. During today’s law enforcement operations, officers seized three ounces of methamphetamine, two handguns, six vehicles and $3,300 in cash.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Renee L. Camacho and Terri J. Abernathy, and was investigated by DEA, HSI, FBI and Las Cruces Metro Narcotics Agency. The U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the U.S. Border Patrol, the New Mexico State Police, the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office, the Sunland Park Police Department and the Hatch Police Department assisted in today’s law enforcement operations.
United States v. Majalca-Aguilar, et al. - Summary of Charges
Count 1 of the indictment charges all nine defendants with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. A conviction on this count carries a maximum penalty of ten years to life imprisonment and a $10 million fine.
Counts 2 through 8 each charge certain defendants with distribution of quantities of methamphetamine. A conviction on Counts 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8, each carries a maximum penalty of ten years to life imprisonment and a $10 million fine. A conviction on Count 4 carries a maximum penalty of five years to 40 years of imprisonment and a $5 million fine.
United States v. Majalca-Aguilar, et al. - Defendants
Gildardo Majalca-Aguilar, 44, a Mexican national who is a legal permanent resident and resides in Albuquerque, is charged in Counts 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 and 8 of the indictment. Majalca-Aguilar was arrested in Albuquerque.
Ivan Jesus Majalca, 26, of Deming, is charged in Counts 1, 3 and 8 of the indictment. Molinar was arrested in Deming.
Ricardo Rodriguez-Magallanes, 36, a Mexican national who is a legal permanent resident and resides in Deming, is charged in Counts 1, 3 and 5 of the indictment. Rodriguez-Magallanes was arrested in Odessa, Texas.
Eleazar Olivas-Mendoza, 44, a Mexican national who is a legal permanent resident and resides in Las Cruces, is charged in Counts 1, 4 and 6 of the indictment. Olivas-Mendoza was arrested in Las Cruces.
Adam Galindo, 47, of Deming, is charged in Counts 1 and 2 of the indictment. Galindo was arrested in Tucson, Arizona.
Jose Angel Morales, 22, of Deming, is charged in Counts 1 and 5 of the indictment. Morales was arrested in Odessa.
Leonard Jesus Rico, 25, is charged in Counts 1 and 7 of the indictment. Rico is in federal custody on a criminal complaint alleging charges related to charges in the indictment.
Carolina Gonzales-Hermosillo, 18, a Mexican national who is a legal permanent resident, is charged in Counts 1, 6 and 7 of the indictment. Gonzales-Hermosillo has yet to be arrested and is considered a fugitive.
Karla Iveth Nunez-Ortega, 30, a Mexican national, is charged in Counts 1 and 8 of the indictment. Nunez-Ortega has yet to be arrested and is considered a fugitive.
Defendants in U.S. v. Aguirre, et al.
Mayra Aguirre, 26, of Las Cruces, and Mario Serrano, 31, of El Paso, Texas, will be charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. A conviction on each of these offenses carries a maximum penalty of five years to 40 years of imprisonment and a $5 million fine.
Charges in indictments and criminal complaints are only accusations. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.