ALBUQUERQUE ― Scott Richard Lange, 55, of Phoenix, Ariz., pled guilty May 18 in Federal Court in Las Cruces, to methamphetamine trafficking charges.
Officers of the Las Cruces Police Department arrested Lange and co-defendant Amy R. Bailey, 42, also of Phoenix, Ariz., in September 2017, on methamphetamine trafficking offenses. According to the criminal complaint, the officers executed the arrests after finding approximately 1,885.5 grams (4.16 pounds) of methamphetamine in a vehicle driven by Lange during a routine traffic stop.
Lange and Bailey subsequently were indicted Dec. 13, 2017, and were charged with conspiracy and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. The indictment alleged that Lange and Bailey committed the crimes Sept. 11, 2017, in Dona Ana County.
During Friday’s proceedings, Lange pled guilty to the two-count indictment and admitted that Sept. 11, 2017, he agreed to deliver approximately four pounds methamphetamine to individuals in Las Cruces in exchange for payment. At sentencing, Lange faces a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of ten years and a maximum of life in federal prison. He remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
Bailey has entered a plea of not guilty and is currently scheduled for trial in June 2018. Charges in criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the FBI, the Las Cruces Police Department, and the HIDTA Regional Interagency Drug Task Force/Metro Narcotics Task Force. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Joni L. Autrey of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office is prosecuting the case.
The HIDTA Regional Interagency Drug Task Force/Metro Narcotics Task Force is comprised of officers from the Las Cruces Police Department, the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, HSI and the New Mexico State Police. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program was created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. HIDTA is a program of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) which provides assistance to federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States and seeks to reduce drug trafficking and production by facilitating coordinated law enforcement activities and information sharing.