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Hobbsan pleads guilty in drug, weapons case

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Hobbsan pleads guilty in drug, weapons case

A Hobbs man faces a potential 15-year prison sentence after pleading guilty Wednesday to federal drug and weapons related charges.

Louis Garcia, 31, plead guilty at federal court in Las Cruces, to drug trafficking and firearms charges. Garcia entered the guilty plea under a plea agreement that recommends a 15-year prison sentence followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

Garcia was arrested in December 2017, on a criminal complaint charging him with committing drug trafficking and firearms offenses on Nov. 20, 2017, in Lea County. According to the criminal complaint, Hobbs Police Department officers found a loaded firearm, two ounces of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and $544 in Garcia’s vehicle during a routine traffic stop.

During Wednesday’s change of plea hearing, Garcia plead guilty to a three-count felony information charging him with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime and being a felon in possession of a firearm. In entering the guilty plea, Garcia admitted that on Nov. 20, 2017, he possessed approximately 54 grams of a mixture containing methamphetamine and a loaded handgun for protection in relation to his drug trafficking activity. Garcia admitted he was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of his prior methamphetamine trafficking conviction in 2007.

Garcia remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. He is detained at the Doña Ana County Detention Center, as indicated by the facility’s online inmate search.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the DEA and the Hobbs Police Department. It’s being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Balla of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.

 

Burkett Shaw
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