Roswell, NM

IRS, Multiple Departments Put Drug Trafficker In Prison For 23 Years

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and multiple law enforcement agencies joined forces to put a major drug trafficker in prison for 23 years.

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Agents from IRS Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Chaves County Metro Narcotics Task Force, and the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force worked together to apprehend Richard Orlinski "Sugar" Sanchez of Dexter, New Mexico.

In August 2021, Sanchez pleaded guilty to a laundry list of crimes: one count of conspiracy to distribute 50 grams and more of methamphetamine; one count of attempted possession with intent to distribute 50 grams and more of methamphetamine; four counts of distribution of 50 grams and more of methamphetamine; 25 counts of use of a communication facility to further the commission of a drug trafficking crime; one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams and more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine, aiding and abetting; one count of distribution of 50 grams and more of methamphetamine, aiding and abetting; one count of distribution of 50 grams and more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine, aiding and abetting; one count of distribution of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine, aiding and abetting; two counts of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams and more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine, aiding and abetting; one count of causing a financial institution to fail to file a report; one count of money laundering conspiracy; one count of money laundering, aiding and abetting; one count of distribution of 500 grams and more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine, aiding and abetting; one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams and more of methamphetamine, aiding and abetting; one count of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition; and one count of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of such crime.

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Per an official release from the IRS, part of Sanchez's plea deal including confessing that between February and August 2020, he and his co-conspirators distributed methamphetamine in Roswell, New Mexico, then laundered their proceeds.

Furthermore, Sanchez admitted to additional drug trafficking activity, including receiving shipments of methamphetamine and selling the drug.

In August 2020, prior to his arrest, Sanchez evaded law enforcement after "hiding a dog food bag filled with 11.818 net kilograms of pure methamphetamine."

As he attempted to flee, Sanchez threw an additional 86.9 grams of pure methamphetamine, a gun, and a loaded magazine out of his vehicle. He was still in possession of another loaded gun and $9,188 in cash at the time.

Due to prior felonies, Sanchez was not legally allowed to have a firearm.

Multiple co-conspirators have already been sentenced in this case. The final defendant, Juan Silvas -- who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute over 50 grams of methamphetamine in August 2021 -- remains in jail pending sentencing at a later date.

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When Sanchez is released from prison, he will be subject to five years probation.

What do you think about this drug trafficking case?

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