. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

An Artesia man pleaded guilty in the Fifth Judicial District Court on May 24 to trafficking a controlled substance.

Aaron Ortega

was investigated by the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force for his role in trafficking methamphetamine in the Artesia area. During the investigation PVDTF Narcotics Agents learned that Ortega was currently on probation for a prior drug trafficking conviction. During the investigation agents were able to show that he was directly involved in selling methamphetamine at an address near Atoka, in Eddy County, just south of Artesia. During the sentencing hearing before the honorable District Judge S. Gray, Ortega also admitted to being a habitual offender.

Ortega was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of thirteen years which included one year as a habitual offender pursuant to the habitual offender statute. Cases like this are unfortunately on the rise according to Pecos Valley Drug Task Force Chairman/Sheriff Mark Cage. “Many offenders choose to continue on a destructive path not only for themselves but for our community members in Eddy County,” Cage said. “Law enforcement efforts will continually be focused to pursue justice and enforcement of New Mexico Laws. This is just one example of that enforcement.”

This criminal investigation was a collaborative effort between the PVDTF, the Artesia Police Department, the Carlsbad Police Department, the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s office, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Eddy County Sheriff ’s Office.