ALBUQUERQUE — A Mexican national illegally residing in Phoenix was sentenced Monday to 41 months in federal prison for his heroin trafficking conviction.
This case was investigated by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Tomas Bustamante-Machado, 51, will be deported after he completes his prison sentence. During a routine traffic stop Jan. 16 in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, he was arrested after New Mexico State Police found 1,286 grams, or 2.8 pounds, of heroin in the vehicle he was driving.
The heroin was concealed in an altered compartment in the back seat of Bustamante-Machado’s vehicle. According to court documents, at the time of his arrest Bustamante-Machado had bonded out of immigration detention pending a deportation hearing. He was subsequently indicted Feb. 10 and charged with possessing heroin with intent to distribute.
Bustamante-Machado pleaded guilty to the charges in the indictment March 17. He admitted that on Jan. 16, while traveling from Phoenix, law enforcement found more than one kilogram of heroin in his possession which was concealed in a secret compartment in the vehicle he was driving. He further admitted that the heroin was intended for another person.
This case was investigated by HSI Albuquerque special agents assigned to ICE’s Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST), and the New Mexico State Police.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Pflugrath, District of New Mexico.