Two Men Charged with Trafficking Methamphetamine in Eddy County
ALBUQUERQUE – A federal grand jury sitting in Las Cruces, N.M., indicted two men, Kenny Sanchez, 53, a former resident of Carlsbad, N.M., who currently resides in Balch Springs, Tex., and Joseph Hernandez, 41, a resident of Carlsbad, charging them with trafficking methamphetamine in Eddy County, N.M.
The charges against Sanchez and Hernandez, which are contained in separate indictments that were filed in Sept. 2018, are the result of investigation by the DEA and the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force into methamphetamine trafficking in Carlsbad. Sanchez’s indictment was announced this week after he was transferred from Texas to New Mexico to face the charges against him.
Sanchez is charged in a four-count indictment that was filed on Sept. 19, 2018, and charges him with participating in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy in April 2018, and with distributing methamphetamine on April 18, 2018, April 27, 2018 and May 9, 2018. The indictment alleges that Sanchez committed the four offenses in Eddy County.
The Abilene Police Department arrested Sanchez on a federal arrest warrant issued based on the federal indictment in Abilene, Tex., on Sept. 21, 2018. Sanchez was transferred from Texas to New Mexico on Oct. 26, 2018, and he made his initial appearance in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., on Oct. 29, 2018. Sanchez was ordered detained pending trial, which has yet to be scheduled.
If convicted, Sanchez faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 40 years of imprisonment on the conspiracy charge and one of the distribution charges, and a mandatory minimum of ten years and a maximum of life of imprisonment on the two remaining distribution charges.
Hernandez is charged in a two-count indictment with distributing methamphetamine on March 21 and 22, 2018, in Eddy County. The PVDTF arrested Hernandez at his residence in Carlsbad on Sept. 25, 2018, and Hernandez made his initial appearance in federal court in Las Cruces. Hernandez was ordered detained pending trial, which has yet to be scheduled.
If convicted, Hernandez faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 40 years in federal prison on each of two distribution charges.
Charges in indictments are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
These cases were investigated by the DEA and the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force and are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Clara N. Cobos of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.
The Pecos Valley Drug Task Force is comprised of agents and officers from the Bureau of Land Management, Eddy County Sheriff’s Office and Carlsbad Police Department and is part of the HIDTA Region VI Drug Task Force. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program 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 and seeks to reduce drug trafficking and production by facilitating coordinated law enforcement activities and information sharing.
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