A man from Artesia was sentenced in federal court in Las Cruces Wednesday to 10 years in prison for possessing 264 grams of methamphetamine and federal firearms charges.
Adalberto Chavez-Chavez, 36, of Artesia, was sentenced on one charge of intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, according to a press release from the office of the United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico.
Chavez-Chavez was sentenced to five years on each of the two counts, after pleading guilty to both charges April 29, the release states.
The charges stem from a Dec. 13, 2018 traffic stop, an Eddy County Sheriff’s deputy conducted on a black Mercedes CL600 driven by Chavez-Chavez, according to court documents. The deputy had conducted a stop on the vehicle because it did not have a light illuminating the license plate area.
When the deputy approached Chavez-Chavez, who was the sole occupant in the vehicle at the time, he noticed a glass pipe with a bulb that had white residue commonly used to smoke methamphetamine and a green water pipe commonly used to smoke marijuana, inside the vehicle and in plain sight, according to court documents.
Chavez-Chavez later admitted to the deputy that he had used methamphetamine earlier that night.
Court documents state a search warrant was then obtained and executed on the vehicle, where two glass pipes with white residue and a green rubber water pipe were found near the front area console and a 9 mm handgun was discovered protruding out from under the front passenger seat.
Investigators also later found a black case on the front passenger seat that contained a loaded handgun. Documents state that other items found in the vehicle included a scale, clear plastic baggies and a clear bag that contained a crystal-like substance, which later tested positive for properties of methamphetamine.
The substance later was found to weigh 264 grams.
Chavez-Chavez had a prior criminal record including a felony conviction in 2015 on a charge of possession of a controlled substance.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.