NM man sentenced to 10 years in prison for federal drug, firearms offenses

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A local man was sentenced July 29 in federal court to 10 years in prison for possessing with intent to distribute five grams and more of methamphetamine, and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Albuquerque Office, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Region II Narcotics Task Force investigated this case.

Joe Maldonado, 43, of Albuquerque, pleaded guilty Dec. 1.

According to the plea agreement and other court records, from May 2017 through July of 2017, Maldonado made multiple sales of heroin and methamphetamine to an undercover officer in Farmington, New Mexico. The total amount of drugs Maldonado sold in those transactions was approximately 30 grams of heroin and 139.4 grams of pure methamphetamine. While selling drugs to the undercover officer, Maldonado was carrying a .380-caliber pistol.


Upon his release from prison, Maldonado will be subject to five years of supervised release.

The Region II Narcotics Task Force includes officers from the Farmington, Bloomfield and Aztec Police departments and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office.

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.

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.