Los Lunas man sentenced to 10 years for drug trafficking and firearms violations

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, announced today that Esteban Renteria III was sentenced on May 31 to 10 years in prison. Renteria, 26, of Los Lunas, New Mexico, pleaded guilty on July 26, 2021, to possession with the intent to distribute 40 grams and more of fentanyl and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

According to the plea agreement and other court records, on Dec. 31, 2020, a New Mexico State Police Officer observed Renteria driving 102 miles per hour on Interstate 40 in Cibola County, New Mexico, and initiated a traffic stop. Upon learning that Renteria had two active arrest warrants, the officer arrested Renteria and performed an inventory of items in Renteria’s vehicle. During the inventory, the officer found a backpack containing $12,012 in cash and a loaded handgun. After obtaining a search warrant, investigators found 184 grams of fentanyl.

In his plea agreement, Renteria admitted that he intended to sell the fentanyl, that the cash was obtained by selling drugs, and that he possessed the firearm to protect his drug business.

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

Homeland Security Investigations and the New Mexico State Police investigated this case with assistance from the Cibola County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Mark Pfizenmayer prosecuted the case.

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