For Immediate Release
Man from Albuquerque Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison for Methamphetamine Trafficking
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Gaspar Leal, 49, of Albuquerque, New Mexico was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Albuquerque to 30 years (360 months) in prison after juries found him guilty of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine at two separate trials.
On July 12, 2016, a grand jury returned an indictment charging Leal and two others with conspiracy to distribute and distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine on June 8, 2016. On Dec. 6, 2017, a jury returned a verdict finding Leal guilty of conspiracy and not guilty of distribution. Two co-defendants pleaded guilty in this case. Candace Tapia, 24, of Albuquerque received a sentence of 18 months in prison for distribution of methamphetamine and Bernadette Aurora Tapia, 51, of Albuquerque received a sentence of 21 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
On Dec. 20, 2017, a grand jury returned a separate indictment charging Leal with conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine between July 21, 2016, and Aug. 3, 2016, and distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine on July 25, 2016. On July 23, 2019, a jury found Leal guilty of conspiracy and not guilty of distribution.
The evidence at Leal’s trials proved he conspired with his co-defendants and others to distribute methamphetamine in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. The evidence showed investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) used an informant who initiated contact with Leal, who was employed as a barber, by posing as a customer wanting a haircut. The evidence also showed Leal arranged drug deals by phone while in jail.
ATF and the Drug Enforcement Administration investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Norman Cairns, Kimberly Brawley, and Samuel A. Hurtado prosecuted the case.