An Albuquerque man with a pending 12-month prison sentence in New Mexico who picked up contraband charges while in custody at the Montezuma County Detention Center reached an agreement Thursday that will send him back to his home state.
Zakri A. Sanchez, 32, pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree introduction of contraband, a Class 6 felony. Detention staff found hypodermic needles in his hair bun on Dec. 20, which happens to be his birthday.
One of the three needles contained Suboxone, a narcotic that treats opioid dependence.
He was arrested in Montezuma County in early December as a fugitive from justice in connection to forgery and controlled substance charges out of New Mexico.
There was some confusion in 22nd Judicial District Court on Thursday regarding how to sentence Sanchez locally and transport him to New Mexico.
The District Attorney’s Office had prepared a plea agreement that would sentence Sanchez to one year of probation that would run concurrent with his pending 12-month prison sentence in New Mexico.
Walker said that agreement would basically mean Sanchez would have one more felony conviction and would not serve any additional time for the contraband offense.
But a representative from the probation office said they would not permit an individual who is on probation to travel outside of the state, even it was in the custody of the New Mexico DOC for transport to a state prison.
The morning hearing was continued to the afternoon to provide some time for everyone to figure out how to handle the case.
Back at 3 p.m., the defense and prosecution found an elegant solution.
Twenty-second Judicial District Chief Judge Douglas Walker agreed to sentence Sanchez to a 12-month DOC sentence in Colorado that would be suspended after Sanchez completed his 12-month DOC sentence in New Mexico.
As long as Sanchez completes his New Mexico prison sentence, he won’t be required to return to Montezuma County.