DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office

For Immediate Release

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Albuquerque Man Sentenced to Five Years for Federal Charges Arising Out of ATF-Led Operation Targeting Drug Trafficking and Firearms Crime in Bernalillo County

Defendant One of 104 Individuals Federally Charged as the Result of ATF-Led Investigation Pursued in Support of Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – In Aug. 2016, a multi-agency investigation led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) concluded with the filing of 59 federal indictments and a federal criminal complaint charging 104 Bernalillo County residents with federal firearms and narcotics trafficking offenses.  To date, 68 of the 104 defendants charged as the result of this investigation have entered guilty pleas and 31 of them have been sentenced.
 
The investigation was undertaken in support of a federal anti-violence initiative that targets “the worst of the worst” offenders for federal prosecution.  Under this initiative, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal law enforcement agencies collaborate with New Mexico’s District Attorneys and state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to target violent or repeat offenders for federal prosecution primarily based on their prior criminal convictions with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.
           
Dwayne Cunningham, 49, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court to 60 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for his conviction on a methamphetamine trafficking charge. 
 
Cunningham and his co-defendants, Devell Devoual, 35, and Cedric Laneham, 39, were arrested in July 2016, on an indictment charging them with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine between May 16, 2016 and June 2, 2016; Devoual and Laneham with distributing methamphetamine on May 17, 2016; and Devoual and Cunningham with possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute on June 2, 2016.  According to the indictment, the defendants committed the offenses in Bernalillo County, N.M. 
 
On May 2, 2017, Cunningham pled guilty to distributing more than 50 grams of methamphetamine on May 17, 2016.  Co-defendant Devoual also has entered a guilty plea and remains in custody pending his sentencing hearing. 
 
Co-defendant Laneham has entered a not guilty plea and remains in custody pending his trial, which is scheduled for Sept. 1, 2017.  Charges in indictments are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.
 
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of ATF and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David M. Walsh and Norman Cairns.
 
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