ALBUQUERQUE – Yvonne Garcia, 55, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court to 46 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for her conviction on prescription drug trafficking and money laundering charges. Garcia also was ordered to forfeit her interest in the proceeds of her criminal activities, including $71,674.92 seized from bank accounts and a safe deposit box, a 2016 Toyota Camry, a 2016 Toyota Tacoma truck, a 2013 BMW motorcycle, and to pay a money judgment in the amount of $15,500.
Garcia and her husband and co-defendant Gerald Roberts, 49, were arrested in Sept. 2016, on an eight-count indictment charging them with trafficking controlled substances in Bernalillo County, N.M. Garcia and Roberts were charged with conspiring to distribute oxycodone, oxymorphone and alprazolam from May 2016 through Sept. 2016. The indictment also charged the couple with distributing oxycodone on three separate occasions in May, June and July 2016; distributing oxymorphone on four occasions in May, June, July and Sept. 2016; and distributing alprazolam in July 2016.
On March 29, 2017, Garcia and Roberts each pled guilty to the conspiracy charged in the indictment and to felony informations charging them with conspiring to launder drug proceeds. According to the plea agreements, between May 2016 and Sept. 2016, Garcia and Roberts sold oxycodone, oxymorphone and alprazolam to an individual who unbeknownst to them was an undercover DEA agent. Garcia and Roberts deposited the proceeds of their illegal drug transactions into Wells Fargo checking and savings accounts in amounts that would not trigger currency-reporting requirements that could alert law enforcement authorities to their illegal activities. Garcia and Roberts used the drug proceeds in the bank accounts to make payments on their residential mortgage and vehicle loans.
Under the terms of his plea agreement, Roberts will be sentenced to 51 months in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. The plea agreement also requires Roberts to forfeit the proceeds of his criminal conduct to the United States. A sentencing hearing for Roberts has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the DEA, the Albuquerque Police Department and the Santa Fe Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shana B. Long and Peter J. Eicker are prosecuting the case as part of the New Mexico Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative. The HOPE Initiative was launched in January 2015 by the UNM Health Sciences Center and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in response to the national opioid epidemic, which has had a disproportionately devastating impact on New Mexico. Opioid addiction has taken a toll on public safety, public health and the economic viability of our communities. Working in partnership with the DEA, the Bernalillo County Opioid Accountability Initiative, Healing Addiction in our Community (HAC), the Albuquerque Public Schools and other community stakeholders, HOPE’s principal goals are to protect our communities from the dangers associated with heroin and opioid painkillers and reducing the number of opioid-related deaths in New Mexico.
The HOPE Initiative is comprised of five components: (1) prevention and education; (2) treatment; (3) law enforcement; (4) reentry; and (5) strategic planning. HOPE’s law enforcement component is led by the Organized Crime Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA in conjunction with their federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners. Targeting members of major heroin and opioid trafficking organizations for investigation and prosecution is a priority of the HOPE Initiative. Learn more about the New Mexico HOPE Initiative at http://www.HopeInitiativeNM.org.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
District of New Mexico