February 23, 2017
Contact: Lucy Holcomb
Phone Number: (915) 832-6000
Las Cruces Man Sentenced To Ten Years For Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking Conviction
LAS CRUCES, N.M - Jessie Jesus Marquez, 37, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, was sentenced last week in federal court to 121 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for his conviction on narcotics trafficking charges. The sentence was announced by Special Agent in Charge Will R. Glaspy of the DEA’s El Paso Division, U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, El Paso Sector’s Chief Patrol Agent, Jeffrey D. Self of the U.S. Border Patrol, Lt. Bobby Holden, Commander of the HIDTA Regional Interagency Drug Task Force/Metro Narcotics Task Force and Chief Pete N. Kassetas of the New Mexico State Police.
Marquez was one of 18 defendants indicted on Oct. 16, 2013, on methamphetamine trafficking charges. The 43-count indictment charged Marquez and his co-defendants with participating in a tri-state drug trafficking organization that obtained methamphetamine from Arizona and Texas and distributed the drugs in Otero and Doña Ana Counties, New Mexico, between Jan. 2013 and June 12, 2013. Among other charges, the indictment charged Marquez with possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute on March 16, 2013 and April 17, 2013, and with using a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking crimes on three dates in April 2013 and on June 3, 2013.
The indictment was the result of an eleven-month, multi-agency investigation led by the DEA that was designated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF) program. The OCDETF program is 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. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement officers seized approximately 3.3 kilograms of methamphetamine and $16,000 in cash.
Marquez’s 17 co-defendants entered guilty pleas to various counts of the indictment, and Marquez alone proceeded to trial. Marquez’s trial on the seven counts of the indictment began on Jan. 25, 2016, and concluded on Jan. 27, 2016, when the jury returned a verdict finding Marquez guilty on six of the seven counts against him and acquitting Marquez on one methamphetamine trafficking charge. The evidence at trial showed that pursuant to a court-authorized wiretap, agents intercepted numerous communications establishing Marquez’s involvement in the conspiracy and in methamphetamine trafficking.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the DEA, the U.S. Border Patrol, the HIDTA Regional Interagency Drug Task Force/Metro Narcotics Task Force and the New Mexico State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah M. Davenport and Selesia Lee Winston are prosecuting the case.
The HIDTA Regional Interagency Drug Task Force/Metro Narcotics Task Force is comprised of officers from the Las Cruces Police Department, the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, HSI and the New Mexico State Police. 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.