Published: 2:01 pm, Thu. Feb. 2nd, 2017Updated: 2:00 pm
Susana Ceballos, 36, of Roswell, was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Las Cruces to 60 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for her conviction on methamphetamine trafficking charges.
Ceballos is one of 41 individuals charged in September 2015 with drug trafficking offenses as a result of an eight-month, multi-agency investigation by the FBI, the DEA, Chaves County Metro Narcotics Task Force, Roswell Police Department, Chaves County Sheriff’s Office, and New Mexico State Police. Twenty-one of the defendants were charged with federal offenses and the remaining 20 with state crimes.
The investigation, which was designated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) program, initially targeted a drug trafficking organization (DTO) allegedly led by Joseph Ray Mendiola, 35, of Roswell, that allegedly distributed meth in Chaves County. It later expanded to include drug traffickers who allegedly supplied meth to the Mendiola DTO and other drug traffickers operating in Chaves County.
Ceballos and 15 other federal defendants were charged in a 24count indictment filed on Sept. 22, 2015. Count 1 of the indictment charged 15 of the 16 defendants with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine between June 2015 and July 2015. Count 2 charged three defendants with conspiracy to distribute cocaine in July 2015.
Counts 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 charged certain defendants with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute in July 2015. Counts 8 through 24 charged certain defendants with using communications devices (telephones) to facilitate drug trafficking crimes. All crimes charged in the federal indictment occurred in Chaves County.
During the course of the investigation, law enforcement officers executed 14 federal search warrants for 10 residences in Roswell, one residence in Dexter, and three vehicles. During the execution of those search warrants, the officers seized approximately 5,600 grams of methamphetamine, $35,960 in cash, and multiple firearms, including two assault rifles.
On Feb. 24, 2016, Ceballos pleaded guilty to participating in a meth trafficking conspiracy and to using a communication device to facilitate a drug trafficking crime. Ceballos further admitted that she was responsible for trafficking approximately 907.18 grams of methamphetamine.
To date, 12 of Ceballos’ co-defendants have entered guilty pleas and are awaiting sentencing. Three co-defendants have yet to be arrested and are considered fugitives.