- His supply allegedly came from the Sinaloa cartel
- The street value in New Mexico of the pills seized last week could be up to $5 million, according to federal officials
Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal
An alleged New Mexico drug dealer sourced by the Sinaloa cartel has admitted to owning the estimated 1 million fentanyl pills and 142 pounds of methamphetamine seized last week during a major law enforcement search of his South Valley home.
Jesse “Lobo” Young, 40, told federal agents after the predawn search that he sells the drugs, according to newly-filed federal court records.
Young, an alleged member of the Sureños gang, also took responsibility for owning all the 24 firearms, including machine guns, found at his residence on Atrisco Drive SW, and “confessed” to knowing he is a convicted felon who is barred from possessing firearms or ammunition, according to a criminal complaint filed by an agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The admissions came after Young agreed to speak with agents after the predawn bust Sept. 1, and waived his Miranda rights, the complaint stated.
On Wednesday, his federal public defender told a U.S. magistrate judge that Young waived his right to a preliminary hearing and his right to contest continued detention in federal custody until trial. His attorney, Amanda Lavin, didn’t respond to Journal requests for comment on Wednesday.
Young faces 10 years to life in prison as currently charged, according to a motion filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Albuquerque on Wednesday. He faces firearms charges and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine.
The prosecutor’s motion seeking to keep Young in federal custody portrayed him as a danger to the community, with “deep ties to organized crime, violence and drug trafficking.”
“Young has a reputation as a killer and drug dealer,” the motion stated, citing the “vast quantities of fentanyl and methamphetamine, enormous sums of cash and an arsenal of weapons” found at his home during the joint search by the FBI, DEA and state and local law enforcement entities.
“The quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl found in defendant’s possession underscore that he played a major role in pumping drugs into our community,” the motion stated. “Further, defendant did not act alone but was part of a larger conspiracy and supply chain that provided a steady stream of fentanyl and methamphetamine in New Mexico.”
But federal agents were still counting the packaged bundles of $100 bills and prosecutors put the total at about $1.8 million in the motion filed Wednesday.
Of the 24 firearms seized, some appeared to be short-barrel rifles and machine guns. Agents also located what appear to be improvised explosive devices and body armor, the motion stated. Agents also found electronic money counters, and plastic bags and wrap frequently used for narcotics packaging.
According to federal prosecutors, multiple confidential sources in the joint investigation identified Young as a “top distributor” of methamphetamine and fentanyl for the California-based Sureños gang, which is sourced by the Sinaloa cartel out of Mexico.
The cartel is an international crime organization that is among the most powerful drug-trafficking syndicates in the world.
The sales in Albuquerque relied on streets gangs, including the West Side Locos, Los Padillas gang, and other gangs “including Cubans who ran drug sales within several shady hotels around Albuquerque,” the motion stated.
Four others were arrested on state charges after searches at 14 other locations in Albuquerque, and the investigation by the FBI and DEA is still ongoing.
Asked about the seizure, a DEA spokesman told the Journal on Wednesday the agency “supports our local, state and federal law enforcement partners as appropriate whenever a drug-related crime is suspected. We do not, however, discuss our ongoing investigations. We cannot comment further.”
Three confidential sources told law enforcement that Young was one of the killers who carried out a “hit or be hit” directive on SNM member Marvin McAllister, who was found dead in a vacant apartment, the motion stated. The FBI is looking into whether McAllister was killed for failing to carry out the SNM mission to locate and kill SNM cooperators who have worked with the government in its seven-year federal racketeering investigation of the gang. So far, no one has been charged in the homicide.
After more than 160 arrests and convictions of top SNM leaders, the Sureños are assisting the SNM in plans to retaliate against cooperators, according to the FBI. Some of the directives are believed to be coming from SNM members currently in federal prison.
In arguing Young be detained, the U.S. Attorney’s office stated that two confidential human sources “also correctly tied Young to a double homicide in 2012 where it was alleged that Young killed two people, one because he was a ‘snitch,’ and burned the bodies inside of a vehicle.”
Murder charges were dismissed in 2015 against Young and a co-defendant after defense attorneys raised speedy trial issues and alleged flaws in the investigation, court records show.
“A Second Judicial District Court judge pro tem had already revoked and reinstated Defendant’s probation two times in these cases,” the motion stated.
A warrant for failure to comply with probation was issued in July 2021 and Young “had been in the wind from that time until his arrest (last week),” the detention motion stated.