Published: 2:11 pm, Wed. Aug. 24th, 2016Updated: 2:10 pm
Charles Edward Gist, 56, of Artesia, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Las Cruces to 21 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for his conviction on methamphetamine trafficking charges.
Gist and co-defendant Jose Alfredo Villa, 35, of Lake Arthur, were arrested in September 2015 on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from Nov. 17, 2014, through Nov. 20, 2014, and distribution of methamphetamine on Nov. 20, 2014. Villa was also charged with distribution of methamphetamine on Dec. 10, 2014. According to the indictment, the defendants committed the crimes in Eddy County.
Gist pleaded guilty April 1 to conspiracy and distribution of methamphetamine. In entering the guilty plea, Gist admitted he conspired with Villa and others to distribute methamphetamine from Nov. 17, 2014, through Nov. 20, 2014. Villa further admitted that on Nov. 20, 2014, he agreed to sell 56 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover law enforcement officer.
On April 13, Villa pleaded guilty to conspiracy and two counts of distribution of methamphetamine. In entering the guilty plea, Villa admitted to conspiring with Gist and others to distribute methamphetamine in November 2014. Villa admitted supplying the methamphetamine that was distributed to an undercover law enforcement officer on Nov. 20, 2014. He also admitted distributing 51 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover law enforcement officer on Dec. 10, 2014. At sentencing, Villa faces a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison. Villa remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Y. Armijo of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Las Cruces Branch Office is prosecuting the case.