For Immediate Release
Four Individuals Charged with Federal Drug and Firearms Offenses Arising from 32-Pound Methamphetamine Deal
ALBUQUERQUE – U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and Special Agent in Charge Thomas G. Atteberry of the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), announced the arraignment this morning of four defendants in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., on methamphetamine and firearms charges arising from an investigation by the ATF that culminated on Feb. 9, 2017, with the seizure of 32-pounds of methamphetamine on Feb. 9, 2017.
The four defendants, Efrain Espinoza-Pena, 44, a Mexican national illegally residing in Albuquerque, Cordelia Louisa Espinosa, 44, of Albuquerque, Edgar Madrid-Rascon, 31, a Mexican national illegally residing in Albuquerque, and Hector Hugo Magana, 33, of Redwood, Calif., are charged in a four-count indictment, which was filed on Feb. 28, 2017. All four defendants entered not guilty pleas to the indictment during their arraignment hearings.
According to the indictment, the four defendants participated in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy that began in April 2015 and continued until Feb. 2017, and operated in Bernalillo and Valencia Counties, N.M. The indictment also charges Espinoza-Pena and Espinosa with distributing methamphetamine in Bernalillo County on Dec. 7, 2016, and Espinoza-Pena, Madrid-Rascon and Magana with possessing distribution quantities of methamphetamine in Valencia County on Feb. 9, 2017. It also charges Madrid-Rascon with using and carrying a firearm on Feb. 9, 2017, in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
According to a criminal complaint filed on Feb. 2, 2017, Espinoza-Pena and Espinosa allegedly sold approximately 553 grams of methamphetamine to an ATF task force officer who was participating in an ATF undercover investigation. The transaction allegedly took place in the vicinity of the Isleta Resort and Casino on Isleta Pueblo, N.M.
A second criminal complaint, which was filed on Feb. 10, 2017, alleges that in Feb. 2017, Espinoza-Pena negotiated to sell 32 pounds of methamphetamine to ATF special agents who were part of ATF’s undercover investigation. The undercover agents allegedly met with Espinoza-Pena and Magana in the vicinity of a convenience store in Los Lunas, N.M., and then drove to the Mid Valley Airpark in Los Luna, where they met Madrid-Rascon, who arrived in a Dodge Durango. After the undercover agents observed methamphetamine located in a bag in the Durango’s back seat, they arrested Espinoza-Pena, Madrid-Rascon and Magana.
The criminal complaint alleges that during a search of the Durango, the ATF agents seized 32 packages, each of which contained a pound of methamphetamine. They also allegedly seized a loaded semi-automatic pistol and a loaded shotgun from the Durango.
Charges in criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law. If convicted, the defendants each face a statutory penalty of a mandatory minimum of ten years and a maximum of life imprisonment on the methamphetamine trafficking charges. Madrid-Rascon faces a mandatory minimum of five years of imprisonment on the firearms charge that must be served consecutive to the sentence imposed on the methamphetamine charges. Espinoza-Pena and Madrid-Rascon each will be deported after completing his prison sentence.
The case was investigated by ATF’s Albuquerque office and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney David P. Cowen.
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