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New Mexico drug dealers arrested in 2023 bust plead guilty in federal court

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(The Center Square) – Kassandra Lee Perales and Jared Michael Moore, two of the 12 defendants law enforcement officials arrested in a joint enforcement operation last year in Carlsbad, pleaded guilty to federal drug offenses in federal court this month, according to the United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico.

Perales, a 33-year-old Carlsbad, pleaded guilty on February 6, 2024, to “conspiracy to distribute 50 grams and more of methamphetamine and 400 grams and more of fentanyl, conspiracy to distribute 500 grams and more of cocaine, attempt to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams and more of methamphetamine, attempt to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams and more of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute 400 grams and more of fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams and more of methamphetamine,” a release said.

Moore, a 42-year-old from Carlsbad, pleaded guilty on February 27, 2024, to “conspiracy to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine,” the release said.

Perales and Moore are in custody pending sentencing. A date has not yet been set for their sentencing.

Moore obtained 55.8 net grams of cocaine with the intent of distributing it on March 5, 2023.

As Moore drove away, law enforcement stopped him and seized the cocaine plus 10.97 grams of pure meth.

Perales traveled from Carlsbad to El Paso on April 3, 2023, to get 1,974 net grams of cocaine and 501.4 net grams of pure meth. The drugs had been transported from Mexico into the United States one day prior and were left in the trunk of a vehicle.

Perales did not know the drugs had been seized by law enforcement the previous day.

On April 10, 2023, Perales met with another person and got 893.3 net grams of pure meth and 657 net grams of fentanyl pills. Perales planned to transport them to North Dakota to sell. One day later, Perales departed Carlsbad for North Dakota and was stopped by officers who seized the drugs.

Perales faces between 10 years and life in prison, plus supervised release. Also, Moore faces up to 20 years in prison and a term of supervised release.

The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated this case with help from Homeland Security Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force. It also got enforcement assistance from the United States Marshal Service, Carlsbad Police Department, Eddy County Sheriff’s Department, Roswell Police Department, Chaves County Drug Task Force, DEA Airwing and Customs and Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Renee L. Camacho and Devon Aragon-Martinez are prosecuting it.

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