DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of New Mexico

For Immediate Release

Thursday, February 9, 2017
Damon P. Martinez
, United States Attorney
Contact: Elizabeth M. Martinez

Chaves County Man Sentenced for Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking Conviction

ALBUQUERQUE – Jose Villa, 35, of Lake Arthur, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 60 months in prison for his conviction on methamphetamine trafficking charges. Villa will be on supervised release for four years after completing his prison sentence.

Villa and his co-defendant Charles Edward Gist, 57, of Artesia, N.M., were arrested in Sept. 2015, on an indictment charging them with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from Nov. 17, 2014 through Nov. 20, 2014, and distribution of methamphetamine on Nov. 20, 2014. Villa was also charged with distribution of methamphetamine on Dec. 10, 2014. According to the indictment, the defendants committed the crimes in Eddy County, N.M.

On April 13, 2016, Villa pled guilty to a felony information charging him with conspiracy and two counts of distribution of methamphetamine. In entering the guilty plea, Villa admitted to conspiring with Gist and others to distribute methamphetamine in Nov. 2014. Villa admitted supplying approximately 56 grams of methamphetamine that was distributed to an undercover law enforcement officer on Nov. 20, 2014. He also admitted distributing 51 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover law enforcement officer on Dec. 10, 2014.

Gist pled guilty on April 1, 2016, to a felony information charging him with conspiracy and distribution of methamphetamine. In entering the guilty plea, Gist admitted that he conspired with Villa and others to distribute methamphetamine from Nov. 17, 2014 through Nov. 20, 2014. Gist further admitted that on Nov. 20, 2014, he agreed to sell 56 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover law enforcement officer. Gist was sentenced on Aug. 24, 2016, to 21 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Y. Armijo of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Las Cruces Branch Office prosecuted the case.

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Field Division: Phoenix Field Division