Tucumcari man to serve federal prison time for trafficking

Staff Report

A Tucumcari man was sentenced to 27 months in prison and three years of supervised parole Monday in federal court in Albuquerque for a 2013 federal methamphetamine trafficking conviction, according to a District of New Mexico/U.S. Department of Justice press release.

Alexander Page, 28, of Tucumcari, entered a plea of guilty on July 7, 2015, according to the release, to a felony charge of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. In his plea agreement, Page admitted on Nov. 7, 2012, while traveling near Socorro that he was stopped for driving 85 mph in a 35-mph zone by a Socorro County deputy sheriff. While searching Page’s vehicle, the deputy found approximately 1,259 grams of methamphetamine in a hidden compartment, according to the plea agreement, which added that Page reportedly was transporting the methamphetamine to Clovis, where the drugs were to be sold; Page allegedly was to be paid for transporting the drugs.

Page and his co-defendants, Michael Montoya, 37, Brian Acuna, 24, and Dianna Hernandez-Trujillo, 24, all of Clovis, were arrested in November 2013 on a six-count indictment charging them with trafficking methamphetamine in three New Mexico counties.

The indictment charged all four defendants with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Curry County, between October 2007 and November 2013.  It also charged Montoya with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute on Oct. 11, 2011 in Curry County; it charged Montoya, Acuna, and Hernandez-Trujillo with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute on March 27, 2012, in Cibola County. The indictment also charged Montoya and Page with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute on Nov. 7, 2012, in Socorro County. Montoya was also charged with money laundering for purchasing a residence with money derived from a drug trafficking activity on Sept. 22, 2010, while Acuna was charged with using and carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime on March 27, 2012, in Cibola County.

Montoya pleaded guilty on Oct. 15 to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and to money laundering. Montoya admitted arranging for drivers to travel to California in vehicles he provided, so that they could transport methamphetamine from his suppliers. Montoya then admitted to distributing the methamphetamine in New Mexico. He also admitted being the owner of the 1.7 kilograms of methamphetamine seized from Acuna on March 27, 2012, and the 1.2 kilograms of methamphetamine seized from Page on Nov. 7, 2012. In entering his guilty plea, Montoya also admitted that on Sept. 22, 2010, he purchased a residence in Clovis with proceeds from his ongoing narcotics activities. Montoya is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 6.

Acuna pleaded guilty on June 26, 2014, to participation in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, and using and carrying a firearm while committing a drug trafficking crime. In entering his guilty plea, Acuna admitted that on March 27, 2012, he and a co-defendant were stopped by police while transporting methamphetamine from California to Clovis. At the time of the stop, Acuna admitted that he and the co-defendant knew that a large quantity of methamphetamine was concealed in a secret compartment in the vehicle and that additional methamphetamine was in a backpack in the vehicle. Acuna also admitted that he had a revolver and ammunition in the vehicle for protection. At sentencing, Acuna faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years to a maximum of life imprisonment on the methamphetamine trafficking charges. On the gun charge, Acuna faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, which must be served consecutive to any sentence imposed on the drug charges. Acuna’s sentencing hearing is currently scheduled for Jan. 12.

Hernandez-Trujillo has entered a not guilty plea to the indictment and is participating in a judicial pretrial diversion program. Charges in indictments are merely accusation and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and the Socorro County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. attorneys Sean J. Sullivan and Jennifer M. Rozzoni are prosecuting this case.

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