ALBUQUERQUE – Alma Delia Perez, 29, of Las Cruces, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court to a heroin trafficking charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Perez was arrested in June 2017, on a criminal complaint charging her with possessing approximately .57 kilograms of heroin on June 13, 2017, in Dona Ana County, N.M. According to the complaint, Perez was arrested after U.S. Border Patrol agents at the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in Las Cruces seized two packages of black tar heroin weighing approximately 570 grams that was concealed in the backseat of the vehicle in which Perez was traveling.
During today’s proceedings, Perez pled guilty to a felony information charging her with conspiracy and possession of heroin with intent to distribute. In entering the guilty plea, Perez admitted that on June 13, 2017, she entered the Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 25 in a vehicle containing approximately 570 grams of heroin concealed in a hallowed out portion of the backseat. Perez further admitted that she had conspired with others to deliver the heroin to individuals within the United States in exchange for money.
At sentencing, Perez faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. Perez remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the DEA and the U.S. Border Patrol. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Clara Cobos of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office is 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.
Information from Department of Justice