Arizona man sentenced in NM to 8 years in prison for trafficking methamphetamine

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Arizona man was sentenced Aug. 11 to eight years in prison for trafficking methamphetamine, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The Lordsburg (New Mexico) Police Department assisted with the case.

Arturo Muñoz, 67, of Phoenix, was sentenced for possessing with intent to distribute 50 grams and more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine, and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Muñoz pleaded guilty Nov. 24, 2020. Upon his release from prison, Muñoz will be subject to four years of supervised release.

According to the plea agreement and other court records, on or about Feb. 19, 2019 to March 19, 2019, Muñoz conspired with his co-defendant, Ricardo Osornio, 44, also of Phoenix, to transport methamphetamine from Arizona to be sold in and around Deming, New Mexico.

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On March 19, 2019, the Lordsburg Police Department officers conducted a traffic stop on Muñoz’s vehicle on Interstate 10 in Hidalgo County, New Mexico. After Muñoz consented to a search of his vehicle, officers discovered drugs in a compartment hidden in a speaker box in the trunk. Officers found 2.17 kilograms of methamphetamine in the vehicle.

Osornio pleaded guilty July 10, 2019, and was sentenced to five years and three months in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ry Ellison and Maria Armijo prosecuted the case.

HSI encourages the public to report any suspicious activity through its toll-free tip line at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.

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HSI is a directorate of ICE and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move.

HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

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