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February 26, 2018Las Cruces, NM, United StatesNarcotics

El Paso, Texas, man pleads guilty in NM to trafficking heroin, methamphetamine

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A man from El Paso, Texas, pleaded guilty Monday to heroin and methamphetamine trafficking.

Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Border Enforcement Security Taskforce (BEST) investigated this case.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Border Patrol assisted with this case.

Jesus Gerardo Prieto Jr, 38, was arrested in October 2017 on a criminal complaint charging him with heroin and methamphetamine trafficking offenses on Oct. 17, 2017, in Doña Ana County, New Mexico.  He was arrested after about 432 grams of methamphetamine and 117 grams of heroin were discovered concealed inside his vehicle at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in Las Cruces.

Prieto subsequently was charged in a five-count indictment Jan. 17, 2018, with distributing methamphetamine on Aug. 29, 2017, in Doña Ana County; distributing methamphetamine and heroin on Oct. 6, 2017, in Luna County, New Mexico, and possessing methamphetamine and heroin with intent to distribute Oct. 19, 2017, in Doña Ana County. 

During Monday’s proceedings, Prieto pleaded guilty to the indictment without a plea agreement.  At sentencing, Prieto faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years and a maximum of life in federal prison.  Prieto remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. 

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brock E. Taylor, District of New Mexico.