Home News Local News Roswell man pleads guilty to federal drug, firearms charges

Roswell man pleads guilty to federal drug, firearms charges

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A Roswell man pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court as a  supplier of a narcotics and firearms ring in southeastern New Mexico.

Marcos A. Martinez

Marcos A. Martinez, 31, was one of 10 people who were named as co-conspirators in a 34-count indictment that arose after an investigation by local, state and federal law enforcement officers.

Four other indictments charge another five suspects.

Authorities have stated that Martinez and other men and women from the region committed 55 overt acts in Chaves, Eddy and other New Mexico counties that violated federal narcotics trafficking and firearms laws. During the investigation, authorities seized more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine and 44 firearms, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Martinez faces a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison. Martinez has been in custody since his arrest in October and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

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Daniel P. Bruton, 39, of Artesia, New Mexico, also has been named as supplier in the drug and arms ring and has been charged in the same indictment as Martinez. He has entered a not guilty plea.

During Thursday’s proceedings in federal court in Las Cruces, Martinez pleaded guilty to all of the charges against him in the indictment, including a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy count, four counts of using a communication facility in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes, two counts of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute, one count of distributing methamphetamine, and one count of smuggling goods from the United States.

In entering the plea, Martinez admitted that, on numerous occasions between May 2017 and September 2017, he conspired with his co-conspirators to distribute more than 2,126 grams of methamphetamine in Eddy County and elsewhere.

Martinez also admitted that, in October 2017, he conspired with another individual to provide firearms to be illegally smuggled from the United States to Mexico, but the firearms were seized from him by the police at a traffic stop while he was traveling from Roswell to Albuquerque. Had the firearms not been seized, it was Martinez’s intention to take the firearms to California to be illegally exported to Mexico.

Four of Martinez’s co-defendants have entered guilty pleas: Chelcy A. Vasquez, 26, of Dexter, N.M., on Feb. 5; Erick L. Miranda-Santos, 22, of Artesia, on April 5; Isela Hernandez, 26, of Roswell, on April 16; and Kenneth R. Dickerson, 56, of Carlsbad, on Feb. 20. Dickerson is scheduled to be sentenced this month, while the dates for the others’ sentencing hearings have yet to be determined.

Another five co-defendants in the case have entered not guilty pleas to the charges against them.

Charges in indictments and criminal complaints are only accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

These cases were investigated starting in spring 2017 by numerous law enforcement agencies and task forces. These include the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency; the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco; Homeland Security Investigations; the U.S. Marshals Service; the U.S. Border Patrol; the New Mexico State Police; the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Region VI Pecos Valley Drug Task Force; the HIDTA Region VI Chaves County Metro Narcotics Task Force and the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office.

The task forces include the Roswell Police Department and the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Clara N. Cobos and Renee L. Camacho of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces branch office are prosecuting the cases.

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