Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Narcotics Trafficking Charges
Defendant prosecuted as part of HOPE Initiative which seeks to reduce the number of opioid-related deaths in New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE - Daniel Jiron, 41, of Albuquerque, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court to heroin and methamphetamine trafficking charges. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Jiron will be sentenced between 72 to 96 months to prison followed by five years of supervised release. The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and Special Agent in Charge Will R. Glaspy of the DEA’s El Paso Division.
Jiron and 14 co-defendants were charged in Dec. 2013, with drug trafficking and firearms charges as the result of an 18-month investigation by DEA and the HIDTA Region I Narcotics Task Force into a drug trafficking organization allegedly led by David Reynolds, 33, of Albuquerque, N.M., that distributed large quantities of heroin in Bernalillo and Santa Fe Counties, N.M. The investigation was designated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF), a nationwide Department of Justice program 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.
Jiron was charged in a 15-count superseding indictment that also charged Reynolds and 13 others with conspiring to distribute heroin in Bernalillo and Santa Fe Counties from Sept. 2012 through Dec. 2013. It also charged Gene Solis, 21, with distributing heroin on three occasions in fall 2012; Humberto Hernandez, Jr., 39, with distributing methamphetamine on seven occasions between Feb. and Aug. 2013; and Jose Martinez-Encinias, 43, with possession of heroin and cocaine with intent to distribute in June 2013, and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Reynolds also was charged with money laundering. The superseding indictment included forfeiture provisions seeking a money judgment of at least $1.3 million and property and assets obtained directly or indirectly from the commission of the crimes alleged in the indictment. A second superseding indictment that added additional charges subsequently was filed in June 2016.
In Aug. 2015, Jiron was charged in a separate case with a methamphetamine trafficking offense. The indictment in this second case charged Jiron with possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute in Bernalillo County on Sept. 3, 2013.
During today’s proceedings, Jiron resolved the charges in both cases by entering a guilty plea to the heroin trafficking conspiracy in the first case and a felony information charging him with methamphetamine trafficking. In entering the guilty plea, Jiron admitted that between Sept. 28, 2012 and Dec. 12, 2013, he received heroin on consignment from a co-conspirator and redistributed the heroin in Albuquerque. Jiron also admitted possessing methamphetamine that was seized by law enforcement officials who executed a search warrant at his resident on Sept. 3, 2013. Jiron remains in federal custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
Two of Jiron’s co-defendants previously entered guilty pleas. Teddy Archuleta, 34, of Albuquerque, pleaded guilty to a felony information charging him with conspiracy to distribute heroin on Oct. 15, 2015. At sentencing, Archuleta faces a statutory maximum penalty of a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison. Miguel Baca, 40, also of Albuquerque, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge on June 6, 2016. Baca faces a statutory penalty of a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison when he is sentenced. Baca and Archuleta remain detained in federal custody pending sentencing hearings, which have yet to be scheduled.
The remaining 12 defendants have entered pleas of not guilty. If convicted on the drug trafficking charges in the superseding indictment, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of a mandatory minimum 10 years to a maximum of life in prison. If convicted on the firearms charge, Martinez-Encinias also faces a mandatory five year prison sentence to be served consecutive to any prison sentence imposed on the drug trafficking charges. Reynolds faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the money laundering charge. Charges in indictments and criminal complaints are only 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 I Narcotics Task Force, with assistance from the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy S. Vasquez and Joel R. Meyers pursuant to the New Mexico Heroin and Opioid Prevention and (HOPE) Initiative.
The HOPE Initiative was launched in January 2015 by the UNM Health Sciences Center and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in response to the national opioid epidemic, which has had a disproportionately devastating impact on New Mexico. Opioid addiction has taken a toll on public safety, public health and the economic viability of our communities. Working in partnership with the DEA, the Bernalillo County Opioid Accountability Initiative, Healing Addiction in our (HAC), the Albuquerque Public Schools and other community stakeholders, HOPE’s principal goals are to protect our communities from the dangers associated with heroin and opioid painkillers and reducing the number of opioid-related deaths in New Mexico.
The HOPE Initiative is comprised of five components: (1) prevention and education; (2) treatment; (3) law enforcement; (4) reentry; (5) strategic planning. HOPE’s law enforcement component 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 and opioid trafficking organizations for investigation and prosecution is a priority of the HOPE Initiative. Learn more about the New Mexico HOPE Initiative at www.HopeInitiativeNM.org.
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 (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 (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.