ALBUQUERQUE – Michael Gerard Smith, 56, of Albuquerque, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court to a methamphetamine trafficking charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Smith is being prosecuted under a federal anti-violence initiative that targets “the worst of the worst” offenders for federal prosecution. Under this initiative, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal law enforcement agencies work with New Mexico’s District Attorneys and state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to target violent or repeat offenders primarily based on their prior criminal convictions for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible. Court records reflect that Smith’s criminal history includes more than ten prior felony convictions including four for drug trafficking offenses.
Smith was arrested on Feb. 3, 2017, and was charged by criminal complaint with methamphetamine and heroin trafficking offenses, and with being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to the criminal complaint, APD officers seized approximately 94.5 grams of methamphetamine, 34.9 grams of heroin, a handgun, and cash in denominations consistent with street level drug trafficking while executing a search warrant at ’s residence.
Smith subsequently was indicted on Feb. 28, 2017, and was charged with possessing methamphetamine and heroin with intent to distribute, possessing a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to the indictment, Smith committed the crimes on Feb. 2, 2017, in Bernalillo County, N.M. At the time, Smith was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of his status as a convicted felon.
During today’s proceedings, Smith pled guilty to Count 1 of the indictment charging him with possession of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine with intent to distribute. In entering the guilty plea, Smith admitted that on Feb. 2, 2017, he possessed more than 50 grams of methamphetamine with the intention of distributing the drugs to others.
At sentencing, Smith faces a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 40 years in federal prison. Smith remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
The case against Smith was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the DEA and the APD, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Cairns.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
District of New Mexico