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June 10, 2022Albuquerque, NM, United StatesNarcotics

HSI investigation results in 10-year sentence for NM man for drug trafficking, firearms violations

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Los Lunas man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing with the intent to distribute 40 grams and more of fentanyl, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, May 31.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated the case with assistance from the New Mexico State Police (NMSP) and the Cibola County Sheriff’s Office.

Esteban Renteria III pleaded guilty to those charges, July 26.

According to the plea agreement and other court records, on Dec. 31, 2020, an NMSP officer observed Renteria driving 102 miles per hour on Interstate 40 in Cibola County and initiated a traffic stop.

Upon learning that Renteria had two active arrest warrants, the officer arrested Renteria and performed an inventory of items in Renteria’s vehicle. During the inventory, the officer found a backpack containing $12,012 in cash and a loaded handgun. After obtaining a search warrant, investigators found 184 grams of fentanyl.

In his plea agreement, Renteria admitted that he intended to sell the fentanyl, that the cash was obtained by selling drugs, and that he possessed the firearm to protect his drug business.

Upon his release from prison, Renteria will be subject to five years of supervised release.

Assistant United States Attorney Mark Pfizenmayer prosecuted the case.

HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Updated: 06/10/2022