LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A New Mexico man was sentenced Thursday to five years in federal prison for methamphetamine trafficking, following an investigation by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Kenneth Matthew Adame, 25, from Las Cruces, was also sentenced to supervised release for four years after he completes his prison sentence. Adame and his two co-defendants Ricky Joe Garcia, 53, and Christopher Michael Sanchez, 25, both also from Las Cruces, were arrested in April 2017, and were charged by criminal complaint with participating in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy on April 10, 2017, in Dona Aña County, New Mexico. According to the complaint, on that day, Adame, Garcia and Sanchez sold about 497.22 grams (17.5 ounces) of methamphetamine to undercover law enforcement agents.
On June 21, 2017, Adame pleaded guilty to a felony information, which charged him with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. He admitted that on April 10, 2017, he conspired with his co-defendants to distribute 497 grams of methamphetamine.
Sanchez pleaded guilty to methamphetamine trafficking charges July 19, 2017. He was sentenced Nov. 27, 2017, to five years in federal prison followed by four years of supervised release. Garcia pleaded guilty to methamphetamine trafficking charges Aug. 2, 2017, and is pending sentencing. At sentencing, Garcia faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 40 years of imprisonment.
This case was investigated by HSI’s Border Enforcement Security Taskforce (BEST) and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Region VII Drug Task Force, a multi-agency task force that conducts long-term investigations targeting regional, national and international drug trafficking organizations that operate in New Mexico. Task force members also follow-up on cases resulting from U.S. Border Patrol and New Mexico State Police interdiction efforts.
HIDTA was created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. HIDTA is a program of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), which provides assistance to federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States. It seeks to reduce drug trafficking and production by facilitating coordinated law enforcement activities and sharing of information.