DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, April 27, 2017
James D. Tierney
, United States Attorney
Contact: Elizabeth M. Martinez

Tony Torrez Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Trafficking and Firearms Charges

Plea Agreement Recommends Prison Sentence within Range of 93 to 101 Months, which must be Served Consecutive to 15 of the 16 Years Torrez is Serving for Related State Conviction

ALBUQUERQUE – Tony Derrick Torrez, 33, of Albuquerque, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court to drug trafficking and firearms charges.   The plea agreement recommends that Torrez be sentenced to a term of imprisonment within the range of 93 to 101 months followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.  The plea agreement also requires Torrez to forfeit to the United States $64,000 in drug proceeds and firearms and ammunition seized during the investigation of the case.
 
The guilty plea was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney James D. Tierney, Special Agent in Charge Will R. Glaspy of the El Paso Division of the DEA, Special Agent in Charge Thomas G. Atteberry of the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Chief Gorden E. Eden Jr., of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD).
 
Torrez was charged in a federal criminal complaint in Oct. 2015, with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and using and carrying firearms in relation to drug trafficking crimes.  According to the complaint, Torrez committed these crimes on Oct. 21 and 22, 2015, in Bernalillo County, N.M.  Torrez was subsequently charged in a five-count indictment with possessing marijuana with intent to distribute; maintaining a place for the purpose of distributing controlled substances; possession of cocaine, testosterone and its esters; possession of firearms and ammunition by an illegal drug user; and possessing firearms and ammunition in relation to a drug trafficking crime.  The indictment asserted that Torrez committed these five crimes on Oct. 21, 2015, in Bernalillo County.         
 
According to court filings, the federal investigation into Torrez began on Oct. 21, 2015, when APD received a tip about a suspect who shot and killed a child during a road rage incident; the tipster provided a residential address for the suspect.  Based on the tip, APD officers conducted surveillance at the residence where they observed a man, subsequently identified as Torrez, load items into a Toyota sedan.  APD officers later conducted a traffic stop on the Toyota after a woman drove away from the residence in the Toyota.  Shortly thereafter, APD officers conducted a traffic stop on a Lexus sedan that drove away from the residence and identified the driver as Torrez.  APD sealed and towed the two vehicles to the APD Crime Lab.
 
On Oct. 21, 2015, APD executed a state search warrant at the aforementioned residence where they found shoeboxes containing U.S. currency, paraphernalia and other items consistent with the use of marijuana and a substance believed to be “wax,” a concentrated form of THC oil processed from the marijuana plant.  Thereafter, the DEA executed a federal search warrant on Torrez’s residence and the two vehicles and seized items and paraphernalia used for distributing marijuana and possibly for the manufacturing THC “wax” and oil.  From the vehicles, the officers seized a bag with U.S. currency, marijuana, firearms and ammunition, a bullet-proof vest, a small amount of suspected cocaine, and drug paraphernalia.  Court filings indicate that approximately $64,000.00 in cash was seized from Torrez’s residence and vehicles.
 
During today’s proceedings, Torrez pled guilty to all five counts of the indictment.  In his plea agreement, Torrez admitted possessing marijuana in Oct. 2015 that he intended to distribute to others as well as illegal steroids for his personal use.  Torrez also admitted possessing several firearms while he was using the illegal steroids to protect himself from the dangers of the drug trafficking business.  Finally, Torrez admitted using his residence to store marijuana he sold.
 
Torrez previously pled guilty in Dec. 2016, to related state court charges arising out of the murder of a child during the Oct. 21, 2015 road rage incident, and was sentenced to a 16-year term of imprisonment.  Under the terms of the plea agreement in the federal case, Torrez’ federal sentence will run consecutive to at least 15 of the 16-year state prison sentence.   Torrez remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
 
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque offices of the DEA and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and APD, with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul Mysliwiec and Nicholas Ganjei are  prosecuting the case.
 
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Field Division: Phoenix Field Division