For Immediate Release
Albuquerque Man Sentenced to Five Years for Conviction on Federal Firearms and Heroin Trafficking Charges
Case Prosecuted as Part of HOPE Initiative which Seeks to Reduce the Number of Opioid-Related Deaths in New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE – Gerald Herrera, 31, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court to 60 months in prison for his conviction on firearms and heroin trafficking charges. Herrera will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.
Herrera was arrested on April 7, 2016, on an indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, possessing methamphetamine and heroin with intent to distribute, and using and carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime. According to the indictment, Herrera committed the offenses on July 8, 2015, in Bernalillo County, N.M. Herrera was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle, tampering with evidence, possession of cocaine, homicide by vehicle and auto burglary.
On Dec. 10, 2016, Herrera pled guilty to possessing heroin with intent to distribute and carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime. In entering the guilty plea, Herrera admitted that on July 8, 2015, officers of the Albuquerque Police Department found a firearm, ammunition and individually packaged bags of heroin and methamphetamine on him and in his vehicle during a traffic stop.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Albuquerque Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rumaldo R. Armijo prosecuted the case as part of the New Mexico Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (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 Community (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; and (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 http://www.HopeInitiativeNM.org (link is external).