Local meth trafficking ringleader sentenced to 9 1/2 years in prison
FARMINGTON — The ringleader of a San Juan County methamphetamine trafficking ring was sentenced Thursday to nine and a half years in federal prison, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.
Isaac Anaya was arrested along with 29 other individuals in February 2014 on state and federal charges that resulted from the year-long, multiagency "Brown ICE" drug trafficking investigation.
As reported by The Daily Times in March, federal and local law enforcement agents used wire taps, confidential informants and surveillance to build criminal cases against the defendants involved in the trafficking organization.
Anaya, 30, of Farmington, was initially set to be sentenced March 9, but his hearing was delayed, according to court records.
Public defender Brian Pori had asked U.S. District Court Judge William P. Johnson in a memorandum filed on Jan. 27 to sentence Anaya to less than six years in prison, claiming his client was driven to drug dealing by an insatiable meth addiction and compulsive gambling.
The case was investigated by the Region II Narcotics Taskforce, which is composed of local law enforcement agents, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Task force director Phil Goodwin of the Farmington Police Department said his agency was happy with Anaya's sentence.
"It was a group effort," Goodwin said. "A lot of people put in a lot of hours. It was a lot of time away from families, and we like the end result."
U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez for the District of New Mexico commended federal and local law enforcement agencies, according to the press release.
"The convictions obtained as a result of this investigation illustrate the success of our district's federal, state and local law enforcement collaboration in rooting out drug traffickers whether they operate in large communities or in rural counties," he said in a statement.
Waldemar Rodriguez, special agent in charge of Homeland Securities Investigations in El Paso, Texas, said in a statement: "HSI and its law enforcement partners will continue to work diligently to get this hideous, addictive drug and the callous criminals who distribute it out of our communities."
Thus far, the Brown ICE investigation has resulted in 11 federal convictions and nine convictions in state court, according to court records.
Two alleged top-tier traffickers in Anaya's organization — Richard Archuleta and Julia Oros — are still awaiting sentencing, according to court records.
Oros' sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled. Archuleta was expected to be sentenced April 7, but the hearing was rescheduled for April 29.