February 15, 2018
Contact: Diana Apodaca
Phone Number: (915) 832-6000
Texas Woman Pleads Guilty To Federal Cocaine Trafficking Charges In New Mexico
Charge Arises out of Seizure of Almost Nine Pounds of Cocaine
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Candy May Gonzales, 33, of Canutillo, Texas pleaded guilty yesterday afternoon in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to cocaine trafficking charges arising from the seizure of 4.06 (8.95 pounds) of cocaine at the U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint near Las Cruces.
The DEA arrested Gonzales and co-defendant Carlos Ivan Todd, 30, also of Canutillo, Texas, in Oct. 2017, on a criminal complaint charging them with possession of 4.0 kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute in Dona Ana County, N.M. According to the complaint, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested Todd and Gonzales at the U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint on I-25 near Las Cruces after the agents seized three bundles of cocaine concealed in the vehicle in which Todd and Gonzales were traveling.
Gonzales subsequently was indicted and was charged with participating in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy from Aug. 2017 through Oct. 8, 2017, and possessing cocaine with intent to distribute on Oct. 8, 2017. According to the indictment, Gonzales committed the offenses in Dona Ana County.
During yesterday’s proceedings, Gonzales pleaded guilty to the indictment without the benefit of a plea agreement. At sentencing, Gonzales faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 40 years of imprisonment. Gonzales remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
On Jan. 4, 2018, Todd pleaded guilty to a felony information charging him with conspiracy and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. In entering the guilty plea, Todd admitted that on Oct. 8, 2017, he drove a vehicle containing 4.06 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a compartment in the vehicle into the U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint on I-25 north of Las Cruces. Todd admitted that he previously agreed with others to drive the cocaine from El Paso, Texas, to Albuquerque, N.M., where the drugs would be distributed further. At sentencing, Todd faces a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison. He remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the DEA and the U.S. Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Balla of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office is prosecuting the case.