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January 12, 2018Albuquerque, NM, United StatesNarcotics

Last of 2 illegal aliens from Mexico sentenced to 12 years for trafficking cocaine, illegal re-entry

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A 46-year-old illegal alien from Mexico was sentenced Thursday to 12 years in federal prison for trafficking cocaine and illegally re-entering the United States after having been deported. 

Special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated this case.

Luis Mendoza-Alarcon, 46, and co-defendant Giovanni Montijo-Dominguez, 37, also from Mexico, were both arrested Oct. 7, 2014, and charged by criminal complaint with cocaine trafficking.  They were indicted Nov. 5, 2014, and both were charged with cocaine trafficking; Montijo-Dominguez also was charged with illegal re-entry to the United States.

Mendoza-Alarcon and Montijo-Dominguez subsequently were charged in a superseding indictment June 30, 2016.  The superseding indictment charged Mendoza-Alarcon and Montijo-Dominguez with conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute from Oct. 3 through Oct. 7, 2014; Mendoza-Alarcon with carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime Oct. 7, 2014; and Montijo-Dominguez with illegal re-entry Oct. 7, 2014.  According to the superseding indictment, the defendants committed the offenses in Bernalillo County, New Mexico.

On June 2, 2017, after a two-week trial, a federal jury convicted Mendoza-Alarcon and Montijo-Dominguez of conspiring to possess at least five kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute.

The evidence at trial established that between Oct. 3 and Oct. 7, 2014, Mendoza-Alarcon negotiated the sale of about six kilograms (13.2 pounds) of cocaine from an undercover law enforcement agent.  On Oct. 7, 2014, Mendoza-Alarcon and Montijo-Dominguez arrived in the parking lot of a store in southwest Albuquerque in a white Chevrolet Tahoe to meet with undercover agents.  Although Mendoza-Alarcon expressed concern to the undercover agents that the parking lot might be occupied by law enforcement, the defendants proceeded with the sale by presenting the undercover agents with a large sum of cash to buy six kilograms of cocaine.

Law enforcement agents testified that, once the signal to arrest Mendoza-Alarcon and Montijo-Dominguez was given, Montijo-Dominguez attempted to run away, but was quickly caught and arrested.  The agents searched the defendants’ white Chevrolet Tahoe, and found a functional firearm loaded with live ammunition.

On July 27, 2017, Montijo-Dominguez pleaded guilty to one count of the superseding indictment charging him with illegally re-entering the United States.  Montijo-Dominguez was sentenced Dec. 12, 2017, to 10 years in prison. 

Both men will be placed in removal proceedings after they complete their prison sentences.