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Accused meth dealer to stay in federal custody until trial

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

A member of a local street gang, Michael Hernandez, 44, arrested earlier this month with more than 27 pounds of methamphetamine, will remain in federal custody until trial.

Hernandez is charged in a federal criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and maintaining a drug-involved premises.

Initially federal court records said agents found 40 pounds of methamphetamine during a raid on his home, but the criminal complaint filed this week reduced the amount of drug seized.

The complaint said that Hernandez fled out the rear door of his home carrying a duffle bag when FBI agents and other law enforcement agencies were serving a search warrant on his home in the 6900 block of Los Alisos NW.

He threw the duffle bag into a bathtub in the backyard, according to the complaint, and was arrested.

Agents found another pound of methamphetamine, two pounds of heroin and ounces of both drugs in various locations in the home, the complaint said.

In the search warrant affidavit, agents said they suspected Hernandez was a member of the Syndicato de Nuevo Mexico (SNM) prison gang and a member of the San Jose street gang.

Agents said they believed Hernandez supplied methamphetamine and heroin to members of SNM and to the San Jose, Barelas and 18th Street gangs. He also apparently used gang members to sell drugs for him, sharing in the bulk of the profits.

One FBI source, who claimed to know him for decades, said Hernandez for years had been a dealer of ounce quantities of heroin and methamphetamine, according to court records.

Hernandez has multiple convictions in state court for possessing narcotics with intent to distribute and other crimes.

But in recent years the source told FBI agents, Hernandez had made a connection that gave him access to as much as 100 pounds of methamphetamine and pounds of heroin each month.

According to the criminal complaint, Hernandez agreed to talk with federal agents without a lawyer present and admitted to being an experienced drug trafficker.

He told agents he was aware he was facing a significant federal sentence but declined to identify the person who supplied him with the drugs, according to the complaint.

The complaint said Hernandez denied being a member of the SNM prison gang but acknowledged he was a member of the San Jose street gang who had lived in prison with members of the SNM gang.

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