José Mendoza of Medanales and Ryan Rodriguez of Chamita were sentenced for their involvement in a drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracy, according to New Mexico District Attorney’s Office.  

A grand jury found the men guilty in 2020 of conspiring to sell cocaine in Rio Arriba County along with Mendoza’s then-wife, Natalie Mendoza, who is awaiting sentencing. The two Mendozas have filed for divorce.

José Mendoza was sentenced on June 7 to ten years and four months in prison followed by four years of supervised probation for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and the conspiracy to commit money laundering. 

Rodriguez was sentenced on June 10 to four years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, five counts of using a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking offenses, one count of distributing cocaine base, four counts of distribution of 28 grams and more of cocaine base, and one count of possession with intent to distribute 280 grams and more of cocaine base.

Cocaine base is the legal term used to refer to crack cocaine.

Rodriguez was found to be purchasing cocaine from the Mendozas and converting it to crack cocaine, which he sold to an undercover agent. 

The Mendozas would then distribute their proceeds from cocaine sales in multiple checkings, savings and loan accounts to hide the amount of money coming in. Court documents also revealed that the Mendozas took out large loans in other names to hide the funds.

Numerous vehicles and firearms as well as over $24,000 were forfeited from the co-defendants as well. 

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