ALBUQUERQUE - October 01, 2015 - Michael Montoya, 37, of Clovis, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a methamphetamine trafficking charge. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Montoya will be sentenced within the range of 121 to 151 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.
Montoya and his co-defendants, Brian Acuna, 23, and Dianna Hernandez-Trujillo, 24, both of Clovis, N.M., and Alexander Page, 28, of Tucumcari, N.M., were arrested in Nov. 2013, on a six-count indictment charging them with trafficking methamphetamine in three New Mexico counties. Count 1 charged Montoya and his co-defendants with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Curry County, N.M., between Oct. 2007 and Nov. 2013. Count 2 charged Montoya with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute on Oct. 11, 2011 in Curry County. Count 3 charged Montoya and Acuna, and Hernandez-Trujillo with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute on March 27, 2012, in Cibola County. Count 4 charged Montoya and Page with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute on Nov. 7, 2012, in Socorro County. Count 5 charged Montoya with money laundering for purchasing a residence with money derived from a drug trafficking activity on Sept. 22, 2010. Count 6 charged Acuna with using and carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime on March 27, 2012, in Cibola County.
During today’s proceedings, Montoya pled guilty to Count1 of the indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and Count 5 charging him with money laundering. In his plea agreement, Montoya admitted arranging for drivers to travel to California in vehicles he provided so that they could transport methamphetamine from his sources of supply. Montoya then distributed the methamphetamine in New Mexico. He also admitted being the owner of the 1.7 kilograms of methamphetamine seized from Acuna on March 27, 2012, and the 1.2 kilograms of methamphetamine seized from Page on Nov. 7, 2012, as well as providing the vehicles Acuna and Page were driving.
In entering his guilty plea, Montoya also admitted that on Sept. 22, 2010, he purchased a residence Clovis with proceeds from his ongoing narcotics activities. He also admitted that drug trafficking proceeds were his only source of income from 2005 through 2011, and that he did not file federal income tax returns on that income during those years.
Montoya is in federal custody pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
On July 7, 2015, Page pled guilty to a felony information charging him with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. In his plea agreement, Page admitted that he was stopped for driving 85 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone by a deputy of the Socorro County Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 7, 2012, while traveling near Socorro, N.M. During a search of the vehicle driven by Page, the deputy found approximately 1259 grams of methamphetamine in a hidden compartment in the vehicle. At the time, Page was transporting the methamphetamine to Clovis where the drugs were to be sold and where Page was to be paid for transporting the drugs. His sentencing hearing is currently scheduled for Oct. 13, 2015.
Acuna pled guilty on June 26, 2014, to Counts 1 and 3 of the indictment, charging him with participation in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. He also pled guilty to Count 6 of the indictment, charging him with using and carrying a firearm in relation to and in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. In entering his guilty plea, Acuna admitted that on March 27, 2012, he and a co-defendant were stopped by police while transporting methamphetamine from California to Clovis. At the time of the stop, Acuna and the co-defendant knew that a large quantity of methamphetamine was concealed in a secret compartment in the vehicle and that additional methamphetamine was in a backpack in the vehicle. Acuna also admitted that he had a revolver and ammunition in the vehicle for protection.
At sentencing, Acuna faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years to a maximum of life imprisonment on the methamphetamine trafficking charges. On the gun charge, Acuna faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison which must be served consecutive to any sentence imposed on the drug charges. Acuna remains in federal custody pending his sentencing hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.
Hernandez-Trujillo has entered a not guilty plea to the indictment and is participating in a judicial pretrial diversion program. Charges in indictments are merely accusation and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and the Socorro County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sean J. Sullivan and Jennifer M. Rozzoni are prosecuting this case.
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico
This content has been reproduced from its original source.