U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of New Mexico
District of New Mexico
For Immediate Release
April 12, 2011
Kenneth J. Gonzales, United States Attorney
Contact: Elizabeth Martinez, Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney, Public Affairs Officer
Two Men Enter Guilty Pleas to Federal Methamphetamine and Firearms Offenses
ALBUQUERQUE – This afternoon in federal court in Albuquerque, Pedro Portillo, a 27-year-old citizen of Mexico, and Fernando Orozco, a 23-year-old resident of Albuquerque, entered guilty pleas to narcotics trafficking and firearms offenses under plea agreements with the United States Attorney’s Office during separate hearings in the same case. Under the terms of their respective plea agreements, each man will receive a 120-month term of imprisonment. Portillo will be subject to removal proceedings when he completes his prison sentence. The two men have been in federal custody since they were arrested on September 15, 2010, and will remain detained pending sentencing hearings, which have yet to be scheduled.
United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Portillo and Orozco each pleaded guilty to an information charging them with (1) possession of more than five grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, and (2) using a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.
According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, on September 14, 2010, an undercover agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had a telephone conversation with Portillo during which he negotiated the purchase of two pounds of methamphetamine for $32,000. Thereafter, the undercover met Portillo, who was the passenger in a vehicle driven by Orozco, in the parking lot of the Santa Ana Casino to complete the transaction. After the undercover agent examined the contents of a tape-wrapped package handed to him by Portillo, the undercover agent gave a pre-arranged arrest signal and DEA agents arrested Portillo and Orozco without incident. Following the arrests, a handgun was discovered under the passenger seat of the vehicle driven by Orozco. Subsequent laboratory testing revealed that the substance in the package contained methamphetamine.
The case was investigated by the DEA and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly A. Brawley.