Man gets five years in heroin conviction

William Thompson

Manuel Ortiz, 44, was convicted Monday in Tenth Judicial District Court of conspiracy to trafficking in a controlled substance (heroin) and tampering with evidence. Ortiz plead guilty to those charges and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Ortiz agreed to turn himself next month according to a court document. “The defendant shall turn himself in on January 24, 2005 no later than 3 p.m. for purposes of transportation to New Mexico Department of Corrections,” the document stated.

The conspiracy charge is a third-degree felony while the tampering charge is a fourth-degree-felony. Ortiz had faced a second-degree felony trafficking in heroin charge, but that charge and a possession of drug paraphernalia charge were dropped as part of a plea agreement. Ortiz received a nine and a half-year sentence but the final four and a half years will be suspended when Ortiz is released five years from now on probation.

Court records stated Ortiz’ sentence was “enhanced” due to a prior conviction on a burglary charge. Ortiz was arrested on the heroin charges March 12 of this year.