POLICE FACTOR
Index Index
IN THIS SECTION     LINKS       Links (News Resources) More Detail Part 1: A - I (here)       Links (News Resources) More Detail, Part 2: J - Z        Links Brief  DRUG USAGE CATEGORIES NM      Cocaine       Heroin       Fentanyl    Meth       Opioids (General)       Signs of Meth Usage     Help/Prevention   DRUG ENFORCEMENT     DEA/Task Forces       HIDTA       Region II Narcotics Task Force       Region III Narcotics Task Force  AREAS   Alamagordo       Albuquerque     Anthony     Artesia       Aztec - also see San Juan County       Belen       Bernalillo County       Bloomfield - also see San Juan County       Carlsbad       Chama       Chaparral     Chimayo     Cimarron     Clovis       Deming       Espanola       Farmington - See San Juan County       Gallup       Hatch     Hobbs     Jemez Valley     Jemez Springs     Kirtland - also see San Juan County     La Luz       Las Cruces           Las Vegas       Los Lunas     Moriarty     Otero County/Southern NM       Portales       Raton       Rio Rancho       Roswell       San Juan County       Santa Fe       Silver City     Socorro       Taos     Tijeras     T or C       Tucumcari       Tularosa       Apache-Jicarilla     Apache-Mescalero     Laguna Pueblo     Navajo Reservation     San Juan Pueblo       Zuni  See also:   Cartels     New Mexico Corruption     New Mexico Drug Corruption      Police Abuses New Mexico     New Mexico Catholic Abuse  INTRODUCTION - START HERE NOTE:  The Albuquerque Journal had a multi-part overview of the drug problem in New Mexico: 2017/02/12   The Cartels Next Door: Cartels’ roots run deep in NM.  By Mike Gallagher https://www.abqjournal.com/947731/cartels-roots-run-deep-in-nm.html  Excerpt:  Heroin rings and methamphetamine dealers with direct connections to international drug traffickers based in Mexico have operated out of stash houses in Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights, horse ranches in Valencia County, communities on the Navajo Nation and small towns a stone’s throw from the Mexican border.  And while we in New Mexico focus on drug-fueled property crimes such as auto theft and horrific violence such as the murders of 10-year-old Victoria Martens and Rio Rancho police officer Gregg “Nigel” Benner, our state is much more than a local market. It is a primary corridor for the cartels to ship drugs nationwide.  Federal law enforcement estimates the Sinaloa Cartel alone controls somewhere between 40 and 60 percent of illegal drugs used in the United States. It supplies dealers in cities and states including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix, New England, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Mexico.  The Juárez Cartel supplies heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana dealers in North Carolina, Alabama, Oklahoma, Minnesota, New Mexico and… https://www.abqjournal.com/947731/cartels-roots-run-deep-in-nm.html  US News 2020/02/29   Drug Addiction ‘Hard to Quantify’ in Northern New Mexico.  By Associated Press https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-mexico/articles/2020-02-29/drug-addiction-hard-to-quantify-in- northern-new-mexico Excerpt:  The San Miguel County Detention Center had 1,812 total criminal bookings in 2019, ranging from petty misdemeanors to first-degree murder. Of those booked into SMCDC in 2019, about 8 percent were charged with at least one drug-related crime, and many individuals faced multiple drug charges….In September, 10 people were arrested and charged with federal crimes following raids by the DEA and local law enforcement. The target of the year-long investigation was 42-year-old Robert Corbin Padilla, who is accused of running a drug trafficking organization from Albuquerque that police estimate was responsible for 70 percent of the cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine trafficked into Las Vegas.  Beginning in December, a multi-agency drug investigation culminated in the arrests of 15 people and resulted in multiple charges of trafficking cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.  According to the DEA, drug trafficking organizations supply large quantities of drugs to street-level dealers, who in turn sell smaller amounts to individual buyers. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-mexico/articles/2020-02-29/drug-addiction-hard-to-quantify-in- northern-new-mexico NBC News 2018/03/13   Death maps show where despair is killing Americans.  Alcohol deaths are down, but drug overdoses are way, way up By Maggie Fox https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/death-maps-show-where-despair-killing-americans-n856231 Colorado - links with New Mexico and other States 2015/05/20   Colorado’s ‘Largest And Most Complex Heroin Bust’ Nets 34 As Use Of The Drug Thrives: Operation Chump Change https://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/05/20/colorados-largest-and-most-complex-heroin-bust-nets-34/ Excerpt: State, federal agents and prosecutors say they have arrested 34 people in a heroin distribution sweep that resulted in 57 state and federal indictments. It was the “largest and most complex heroin bust in the history of the Rocky Mountain region,” according to the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.  A lot of the drugs ended up being distributed out of Denver’s Civic Center area.  The Drug Enforcement Administration and attorney general’s office says the abuse of prescription pills — opiates — has fueled a heroin explosion now being seeing in Colorado, and youngsters are among the ones using heroin most.  As more people abuse prescription pills, especially opiates, experts say the transition to heroin becomes necessary because it’s cheaper and easier to find. Brown heroin can be smoked which makes it easier for a user to hide. There are no needles, no track marks. https://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/05/20/colorados-largest-and-most-complex-heroin-bust-nets-34/ LINKS MORE DETAIL A - I ABC News 2006/01/07   [Chimayo/Heroin]  Part II: Heroin Devastates a Town. (Chimayo, NM)  By Julia Campbell https://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=93227&page=1 ABC 13 2019/07/18   [Santa Fe Vetererinarian/amphetaminies/rapes] Santa Fe veterinarian accused of raping teens indicted on drug charges https://abc13.com/santa-fe-veterinarian-dr-todd-michael-glover-paul-darrow/5404486/ Excerpt:   Santa Fe veterinarian who was accused of raping two teens at a Louisiana casino has been indicted on drug charges.  Todd Glover was indicted on July 16 by a Galveston County grand jury and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.  According to court documents, the organized crime involved false prescriptions for amphetamine drugs.  Victoria Lyn and Justin Tyler Cyr were also charged with engaging in organized criminal activity…In December 2018, Glover was arrested and charged for allegedly using drugs from his clinic to rape underage girls. https://abc13.com/santa-fe-veterinarian-dr-todd-michael-glover-paul-darrow/5404486/ Alamagordo News 2020/02/11   [Ruidoso/Meth/Heroin] Man busted by task force convicted for drug trafficking.  By Cristina Carreon, https://www.alamogordonews.com/story/news/2020/02/11/man-busted-task-force-convicted-drug- trafficking/4722810002/ Excerpt:  A Ruidoso man busted by the White Mountain Drug Task Force while making a drug delivery at a hotel was found guilty on drug trafficking charges by a jury on Monday.  Jacob Scott, 43, was found guilty of trafficking heroin by possession with intent to distribute, and trafficking methamphetamine by possession with intent to distribute, by a Lincoln County jury following a two-day trial. https://www.alamogordonews.com/story/news/2020/02/11/man-busted-task-force-convicted-drug- trafficking/4722810002/ 2020/01/13   [La Luz/mariuana/meth/trafficking]   Woman charged for trafficking in La Luz drug bust.  By Cristina Carreon https://www.alamogordonews.com/story/news/2020/01/13/woman-charged-trafficking-la-luz-drug- bust/4454451002/ Excerpt:  A La Luz woman is facing charges related to drug trafficking after a bust by the White Mountain Narcotics Task Force on Thursday.  Christina Cruz, 35, was arrested and charged with trafficking a controlled substance by possession with intent to distribute marijuana; trafficking a controlled substance by possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; possession of drug paraphernalia; two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon; two counts of receiving stolen property; and conspiracy to commit trafficking of a controlled substance.  A White Mountain Narcotics Task Force agent executed a search warrant on Thursday, Jan. 9 at a residence on La Luz Gate Road, which Cruz was renting, according to Otero County Magistrate Court records. https://www.alamogordonews.com/story/news/2020/01/13/woman-charged-trafficking-la-luz-drug- bust/4454451002/ Alamagordo News   2019/11/06  [Tularosa/drug bust] The White Mountain Drug Task Force arrested three people in connection with a drug bust in Tularosa www.alamogordonews.com › story › news › 2019/11/06/ 2019/07/06   Drug trafficking up since CBP checkpoint closure.  By Nicole Maxwell https://www.alamogordonews.com/story/news/local/community/2019/07/06/drug-trafficking-new-mexico- cbp-checkpoint-border-patrol/1258156001/ Excerpt:  Otero County began tracking drug seizures in February when the Sheriff's Office joined the White Mountain Task Force, a part of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program. The number of drug seizures rose from February to April, a trend officials have cited in declaring a state of emergency and asking the State to send help. Before February, the county didn't do a very good job of tracking drug seizures.  Still Sheriff David Black attributed the rise in drug seizures to the closure of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) checkpoints along U.S. Highway 54/70 in March.  The highway is a key corridor for drug trafficking, Black said.  Otero County leaders including Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin (R-D2), have used the recently collected statistics to support the passage of a resolution declaring a "state of emergency" in Otero County and to push New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to recommit National Guard troops to border enforcement. https://www.alamogordonews.com/story/news/local/community/2019/07/06/drug-trafficking-new-mexico- cbp-checkpoint-border-patrol/1258156001/ Albuquerque ABQ Journal 2020/02/12 [Albuquerque/Meth, Fentanyl/Weapons incl. full-auto selector switch/Gang - South Side Locos] Suspected drug dealer: ABQ is a ‘crazy place’.  By Mike Gallagher. https://www.abqjournal.com/1420127/accused-drug-dealer-abq-is-a-crazy-place.html Excerpt:  A South Side Locos street gang member arrested on drug and weapons charges told members of an FBI task force that – in addition to drugs and cash – he had a machine gun and other firearms in his house because Albuquerque is “a crazy place” and “very violent.” Bolivar, who is known as “Manny,” “Gino,” “G” and “Little Sapo,” was charged in federal court with possession of a machine gun, possession of methamphetamine and fentanyl and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. After arranging for undercover drug purchases from Bolivar, agents conducted a predawn raid on his home in Southwest Albuquerque, finding 3 pounds of methamphetamine, almost $16,000 in cash, five pistols and two rifles, 96 blue fentanyl tablets, 155 packaged strips of suboxone and a bulletproof vest, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition.  During the raid, agents found a full-automatic selector switch that, when installed, allows a Glock 9mm pistol to be fired as a fully automatic firearm, according to court records. The switch can be installed in seconds and turns the weapon into what is considered a machine gun under federal law, according to the complaint filed against Bolivar. A lower-level drug dealer had told agents that Bolivar, who faces a potential life sentence, was a “big-time plug” who had supplied him with drugs more than a thousand times. The lower-level dealer told agents Bolivar received drugs from an organization in Mexico. Federal court documents identified Bolivar as a member of the South Side Locos and included photographs of Bolivar flashing gang signs. https://www.abqjournal.com/1420127/accused-drug-dealer-abq-is-a-crazy-place.html 2020/02/06   [Albuquerque/Fentanyl/Army Veteran]  Arrest includes 18 guns, $11K, drugs, fake IDs, more.  By Matthew Resien https://www.abqjournal.com/1417929/arrest-includes-18-guns-11k-cash-drugs-fake-ids-more.html Excerpt:  A drug bust in the International District last week turned up much more than dope.  New Mexico State Police say they found more than a dozen guns — some of them stolen — thousands in cash, a fair amount of fentanyl, Los Lunas Police badge when home raided of 35-year-old Army veteran Claudio Chavez on Jan. 30. https://www.abqjournal.com/1417929/arrest-includes-18-guns-11k-cash-drugs-fake-ids-more.html 2019/09/20  [Las Vegas/Cocaine, Fentanyl/Trafficking] Raids target big drug operation around state. Colleen Heild https://www.abqjournal.com/1368537/raids-target-big-drug-operation-around-state.html Excerpt:  Federal, state and local enforcement agents, some descending in helicopters, staged early morning raids in Las Vegas and elsewhere in northern and central New Mexico on Thursday to take down a longtime drug trafficking organization and its alleged leader, who seemed to always stay a step ahead of his captors. Robert Corbin Padilla, also known as Fat Head, was taken into custody Thursday in Albuquerque, according to newly released arrest and search warrant records filed by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI.  Padilla faces multiple charges, including distribution of fentanyl and cocaine. https://www.abqjournal.com/1368537/raids-target-big-drug-operation-around-state.html 2019/03/23  [Albuquerque/Heroin, Meth]  ‘Arsenal’ of weapons, heroin and meth seized in ABQ. By Mike Gallagher https://www.abqjournal.com/1295678/arsenal-of-weapons-heroin-and-meth-seized-in-abq.html Excerpt:  The federal criminal cases against brothers Sergio and Jesus Samaniego-Villa have all the earmarks of a typical Mexican-based drug operation: drugs, guns, money and even statuettes of Santa Muerte and Jesus Malverde, commonly known as the patron saints of drug trafficking….Sergio, 30, faces drug charges and Jesus Samaniego-Villa, faces gun charges. The brothers, from Culiacán, the heart of Sinaloa, are both in the country illegally…. But even in an Albuquerque metropolitan area with plenty of gun violence, it’s not every day officers pull over a vehicle and find the driver – in this case Jesus Samaniego-Villa – wearing an armored vest with a 30-round AR-15 magazine clipped to it.  In the back seat of the extended cab pickup truck, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputies found what prosecutors describe as an “arsenal” of rifles, a machine gun, night vision goggles, drugs and more than $33,000 in cash. https://www.abqjournal.com/1295678/arsenal-of-weapons-heroin-and-meth-seized-in-abq.html 2018/04/15  [NM fatal drug overdoses] Partnerships have the U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuting fatal drug overdoses in NM By Albuq. Jrnl Ed. https://www.abqjournal.com/1159058/dealer-beware.html Excerpt:  Drug overdoses killed 63,632 Americans in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control. To put that number in perspective, it’s the equivalent of the combined populations of Roswell, Taos, Silver City and Jemez Springs dying in one year because of drugs.  Five hundred of those fatal overdoses were in New Mexico.  While addicts often pay for their addictions with their lives, dealers typically just move on to the next unfortunate soul needing a fix, wreaking even more heartache in the communities where they operate. https://www.abqjournal.com/1159058/dealer-beware.html 2018/01/23   [Albuquerque/Meth, Heroin, Cocaine/Firearms, Stolen cars] Drug bust leads to charges against 77. By Matthew Reisen https://www.abqjournal.com/1123392/drug-bust-leads-to-charges-against-77.html Excerpt: ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico State Police announced a months long drug bust Tuesday afternoon that slapped 77 men and women with charges ranging from drug possession and trafficking to stolen cars and guns.  State Police Lt. Elizabeth Armijo said Operation Recharge, aimed at “drug dealers, car thieves, fugitives and other criminals” in the Albuquerque area, also netted nearly 50 pounds of meth and heroin, a quarter pound of cocaine in addition to firearms and stolen cars.  Of those facing charges in the operation, Armijo said 18 are convicted felons and 23 are still on the loose.  She said New Mexico State Police partnered with Albuquerque Police and Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations for the four- month investigation….Armijo said “numerous” individuals charged as part of the operation have prior felony convictions and “extensive” criminal histories… 18 are convicted felons and 23 are still on the loose [as of Jan. 2018]. https://www.abqjournal.com/1123392/drug-bust-leads-to-charges-against-77.html 2017/04/28   [Albuq, Rio Rancho/Heroin, Meth, Cocaine/Sinaoloa Cartel-multiple states]   Feds: Drug bust nets 28 cartel operatives.  By Abq Jrnl News Staff. https://www.abqjournal.com/995396/feds-drug-bust-nets-28-cartel-operatives.html Excerpt:  Federal authorities say 28 people, including at least seven in Albuquerque and one in Rio Rancho, are facing drug trafficking and money laundering charges in New Mexico as part of an investigation targeting a Mexican drug trafficking organization.  News media outlets were identifying the target organization as part of the Sinaloa cartel.  The organization is believed responsible for importing large quantities of heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine from Mexico, and distributing the illicit drugs in New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, Kentucky and Illinois, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. https://www.abqjournal.com/995396/feds-drug-bust-nets-28-cartel-operatives.html 2017/02/24  [NM-wide/Cartels]  The Cartels Next Door:  Cartels run deep in NM.  By Mike Gallagher. https://www.abqjournal.com/947731/cartels-roots-run-deep-in-nm.html The Albuquerque Journal today begins a six-part investigative report on a criminal enterprise wreaking havoc across the country.  FIRST IN A SERIES  You don’t have to look south across the border to see the Mexican drug cartels in operation. They are operating right next door. 2016/06/02   [Socorro Area/Meth, Cocaine, Heroin, Prescription Drugs/Trafficking]   Police charge 58 in Socorro County drug trafficking investigation.  By Elise Kaplan https://www.abqjournal.com/784953/police-charge-58-in-socorro-county-drug-trafficking-investigation.html Excerpt:  New Mexico State Police have charged 58 people after a four-month investigation into drug trafficking in Socorro County, a spokeswoman announced Thursday night.  “Operation ‘Roadrunner’ involved several different drug trafficking organizations operating in the area selling various types of narcotics, including methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, marijuana and prescription drugs,” said Sgt. Elizabeth Armijo in a news release. https://www.abqjournal.com/784953/police-charge-58-in-socorro-county-drug-trafficking-investigation.html 2014/10/01  [Jemez Valley/Pot-Huge]   $1 million in pot seized in Jemez Valley.  By Patrick Lohmann https://www.abqjournal.com/471963/1-million-in-pot-seized-from-jemez-valley-grow-operation.html 2014/05/10  [Espanola/Heroin, Cocaine/bootleg liquor/Trafficking]  Northern NM drug bust nets 6 BY NICOLE PEREZ https://www.abqjournal.com/397997/northern-nm-drug-bust-nets-6.html Excerpt:  Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested multiple people Friday who were allegedly selling drugs and bootleg liquor – often using a 7-year-old girl to deliver the liquor to the buyers in the area, according to a spokesman.The latest in a string of Española-area drug busts left the six adults facing drug trafficking, liquor law violations, child abuse and drug possession charges, according to spokesman Jake Arnold…in Cordova – a small community east of Española – where they found traffickable amounts of heroin and cocaine, as well as a bootleg alcohol operation https://www.abqjournal.com/397997/northern-nm-drug-bust-nets-6.html 2013/04/04   [Belen/Meth/Trafficking/Assault-Officer] Belen man pleads guilty to drug charges, assaulting federal officer.  Valencia County News Bulletin https://www.abqjournal.com/184988/updated-belen-man-pleads-guilty-to-drug-charges-assaulting-federal- officer.html Excerpt:  LOS LUNAS — Lonnie Dean, 48, of Belen, pleaded guilty Tuesday to methamphetamine trafficking and assault on a federal officer charges under a plea agreement that requires him to serve a 20-year prison sentence. Dean was one of 12 individuals from Valencia and Socorro counties charged with federal methamphetamine trafficking charges in May and June 2011, following a 16-month investigation led by the DEA and the Los Lunas Police Department.  The investigation, code-named “Vanilla Sky,” was pursued under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program, a nationwide initiative that combines the resources and unique expertise of federal agencies, along with their local counterparts, in a coordinated attack against major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations.  According to court filings, Dean was part of a large scale methamphetamine trafficking organization that operated in Valencia County, and allegedly was led by Arturo Acosta-Astorga, 53, and Ovidio Estrada, 39, both residents of Los Lunas. https://www.abqjournal.com/184988/updated-belen-man-pleads-guilty-to-drug-charges-assaulting-federal- officer.html 2010/06/11   [Carlsbad, Chaparral, Albuquerque/Cocaine/Trafficking]   Transporters in south, north dealers busted  https://www.abqjournal.com/13298/updated-major-drug-bust-targets-new-mexico.html Excerpt:  More than 50 drug dealers and distributors in different parts of the state were rounded up as part of two federal investigations…The operation in the southern part of the state was focused on a family-run drug transporting ring and was part of a larger, national effort called “Project Deliverance.”  “The main target of this operation was the transportation infrastructure of the Mexican drug trafficking organizations in the United States,” Gonzales said.  He said the family organization mainly trafficked cocaine, and transported it throughout New Mexico and into places like Denver. Gonzales said 39 members of the group were charged in a federal indictment, and 26 have been arrested, so far. He said most members were arrested in Chaparral, Carlsbad and Albuquerque, while others were arrested in El Paso, Denver and Atlanta. https://www.abqjournal.com/13298/updated-major-drug-bust-targets-new-mexico.html 2009/12/16   [Tularosa/Meth/Trafficking/methadone/oxycodone, hydrocodone]  Drug Busts Net 5 in Tularosa. By Albq. Jrnl News. https://www.abqjournal.com/15777/745am-drug-busts-net-5-in-tularosa.html Excerpt: Arrested Tuesday were Rafael Lucero, 48, charged with three counts of second-degree felony trafficking of a controlled substance; Michael Christopher, 58, three counts of second-degree trafficking, with additional counts pending; Richard Lucero, 47, two counts of second-degree trafficking a controlled substance; and Maria Lindsey, a/k/a Maria Pope, 42, one count of trafficking a gram of methamphetamine, the Daily News said.  House said Tularosa police had an undercover woman officer purchasing prescription drugs and methamphetamine, and the officer had bought methadone, oxycodone and hydrocodone pills at several locations in Tularosa, the Daily News said. https://www.abqjournal.com/15777/745am-drug-busts-net-5-in-tularosa.html Artesia News 2016/06/04   [Eddy County/Meth/Cocaine/Crack Cocaine/Heroin/Cuban Nationals/Trafficking]   31 charged in Pecos Valley Drug Task Force bust.  By Brienne Green http://www.artesianews.com/1303602/31-charged-in-pecos-valley-drug-task-force-bust.html Excerpt:  Felony charges were filed late last week against 31 individuals, including 20 residents of Eddy County, as the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force (PVDTF) wrapped up a four-month undercover operation.  The remaining 11 individuals charged are part of a group of Cuban nationals hailing from Albuquerque that was one of the major sources of methamphetamine, cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin activity in Eddy County.  “Albuquerque is the hub right now,” Cmdr. James McCormick of the PVDTF said Saturday. “Cubans traditionally only dealt with cocaine and crack cocaine, but they have now expanded their horizons to include heroin and meth. And they have lots of it, and it’s cheap.” http://www.artesianews.com/1303602/31-charged-in-pecos-valley-drug-task-force-bust.html CBS 2016/03/02  [Albuquerque/portapotty drugs] Albuquerque man sold drugs from porta potty https://www.cbsnews.com/news/albuquerque-new-mexico-police-say-man-sold-drugs-out-of-porta-potty/ Police say an undercover drug bust netted an Albuquerque drug dealer who was doing business out of an adult video store's portable toilet.  The Albuquerque Journal reports 22-year-old Aaron Gonzales was arrested in the Pussycat Video store's parking lot on Tuesday and is facing drug-trafficking charges. Andres Plata, an 18-year-old who is accused of leading an undercover officer to Gonzales, also was arrested.  Court documents show Plata, who said he was Gonzales' brother, took the officer to the porta-potty after he asked him for heroin. Counterpunch 2004/11/06   [Espanola/Rio Arriba County/Heroin, Cocaine]   Heroin, Cocaine and Española, New Mexico. By Jordan Green. https://www.counterpunch.org/2004/11/06/heroin-cocaine-and-espa-ntilde-ola-new-mexico/ Cultural Revolution est. date 2018   [Navajo nation/crystal meth] Crystal Meth Plagues Navajo Nation https //www culturalsurvival org/news/crystal-meth-plagues-navajo-nation Excerpt: Shonie De La Rosa and his documentary, G, focusing on methamphetamine use in the Navajo Nation, won the award for Best Public Service Film November 13 at the 29th Annual American Indian Film Festival. The documentary was the first produced by a Navajo to win at this film festival. The film’s title refers to user’s jargon for methamphetamine: crystal meth, G, glass, speed, ice, or crank. Users snort, inject, or smoke the drug.   Methamphetamine can be easily made by household products such as fertilizers, cold medicines, nail polish remover, iodine, and Drano, according to MSNBC. Because this highly addictive white powder is easy and cheap to make, it has taken a stronghold on reservations in recent years. On the Navajo reservation, roughly $20 dollars can buy enough crystal meth to get three or four people high for an entire day, MSNBC reports. Michelle Archuleta, director of the Tuba City (Arizona) Regional Health Care Corporation, which sponsored De La Rosa's documentary, is actively fighting the use of meth on reservations by sending crystal meth experts and police officers to public schools throughout Navajo Nation to educate students. "We’re trying to improve the wellness of this community from a Native perspective by including entire Navajo families and also Navajo spiritual philosophies in our outreach," Archuleta told In These Times. https //www culturalsurvival org/news/crystal-meth-plagues-navajo-nation Current Argus 2020/04/07    [Carlsbad, Meth, Heroin/Trafficking]  Carlsbad man sentenced for possession/trafficking controlled substances.  By Mike Smith https://www.currentargus.com/story/news/2020/04/07/carlsbad-man-sentenced-nearly-30-years-prison-drug- trafficking/2956722001/ Excerpt:  A Carlsbad man was sentenced to nearly three decades in prison for possession and trafficking of meth and heroin, according to court records.  Michael Lopez, 36, was sentenced March 30 in two separate cases before Fifth Judicial District Judge Lisa Riley, court records read.  “Both cases involved Mr. Lopez being in possession of methamphetamine and heroin with intent to traffic or possess,” said Pecos Valley Drug Task Force (PVDTF). https://www.currentargus.com/story/news/2020/04/07/carlsbad-man-sentenced-nearly-30-years-prison-drug- trafficking/2956722001/ 2019/05/20   [Artesia/Meth/Trafficking/Child Abuse]   Artesia woman faces child abuse and drug trafficking.  By Mike Smith. https://www.currentargus.com/story/news/2019/05/20/artesia-woman-faces-child-abuse-and-drug- trafficking-charges/3744148002/ Excerpt:  Two children were removed from an Artesia home that agents with the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force said was littered with drug paraphernalia.  The New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department took custody of the 8-year-old and 5-year-old.  Charges of trafficking a controlled substance and child abuse are pending against the children's mother, Jessica Jones, 33, per the release.  Agents… suspected methamphetamine trafficking, read a Task Force press release https://www.currentargus.com/story/news/2019/05/20/artesia-woman-faces-child-abuse-and-drug- trafficking-charges/3744148002/ 2018/11/02    [Carlsbad/Meth, Heroin/Trafficking] 4 Carlsbad residents arrested in "trafficking ring".  By  Jessica Onsurez https://www.currentargus.com/story/news/crime/2018/11/02/carlsbad-residents-arrested-meth-heroine-drug- trafficking-ring-texas-pecos-valley/1860392002/ Excerpt:   six month investigation into drug trafficking between Texas and southeast New Mexico ended in the arrest of four Carlsbad residents. Shessa Kirby Sanchez, 26, Paul Sanchez, 55, Jeanette Elizondo, 45, and Kenneth Armendariz, 33, were charged with allegedly helping two others traffic "large amounts of meth" and heroine between the two states. The U.S. Justice Department issued federal indictments against 53-year-old Kenny Sanchez and Joseph Hernandez, 41, Tuesday; Sanchez and Hernandez, suspected of leading the ring, were charged with various counts related to methamphetamine trafficking. https://www.currentargus.com/story/news/crime/2018/11/02/carlsbad-residents-arrested-meth-heroine-drug- trafficking-ring-texas-pecos-valley/1860392002/ The Daily Beast 2013/08/24    [NM-wide/Meth]   Fact From Fiction.  The Devil’s Drug, The True Story of Meth in New Mexico. By Nick Romeo   http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/24/the-devil-s-drug-the-true-story-of-meth-in-new-mexico.html Excerpt:  In anticipation of the new season of Breaking Bad, Nick Romeo travels to New Mexico to separate fact from fiction about the meth trade in New Mexico. He speaks to law enforcement and users about their true life experiences Daily Times 2019/11/09   [Aztec, Meth, Marijuan/Trafficking]   Aztec man accused of trafficking meth after resisting arrest. Substance found in two bags tested positive for meth.  Joshua Kellogg, https://www.daily-times.com/story/news/crime/2019/11/09/aztec-farmington-drug-trafficking-meth-police-resisting- arrest/2535831001/  Excerpt:  An Aztec man is accused of trafficking methamphetamine and resisting arrest after running away from an Aztec police officer.  Bobby Pacheco, 22, was arrested Nov. 2 with the assistance of two citizens after a foot chase in Aztec, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.   He is accused of a second-degree felony count of trafficking controlled substances along with municipal citations for drug paraphernalia, unlawful possession of marijuana, concealing identity and shoplifting. https://www.daily-times.com/story/news/crime/2019/11/09/aztec-farmington-drug-trafficking-meth-police-resisting- arrest/2535831001/ 2019/08/25  [Kirtland/Meth/Trafficking]  Kirtland man faces multiple meth trafficking charges, allegedly sold to undercover agent.  Woman accused of drug deal in parking lot of Farmington business.  Joshua Kellogg, https://www.daily-times.com/story/news/crime/2019/08/25/kirtland-man-faces-multiple-meth-trafficking- charges/2097993001/ Excerpt:  A Kirtland man is facing multiple drug trafficking charges for selling meth to an undercover agent, including a purchase aided by woman who allegedly conducted a drug deal in the parking lot of her employer.  Zachariah Shorty, 22, is accused of three felony counts of trafficking a controlled substance and two felony counts of conspiracy to commit trafficking, according to court documents.  Shorty is accused of three instances of trafficking meth and conspiring with two people to traffic meth, according to arrest warrant affidavit. https://www.daily-times.com/story/news/crime/2019/08/25/kirtland-man-faces-multiple-meth-trafficking- charges/2097993001/ 2019/07/26   [San Juan County, NM/Users Meth/Traffickers]   Arrests filed accused meth traffickers.The regional drug enforcement task force has filed 20 arrest warrants in two days   By Joshua Kellogg https://www.daily-times.com/story/news/crime/2019/07/26/20-arrest-warrants-filed-accused-meth-traffickers-san- juan-county-region-ii-drug-force/1838084001/ Excerpt: One suspect, Mikel Cross, 44, faces two counts of trafficking a controlled substance as he allegedly sold meth  to an agent or informant on Jan. 22 and 24.  Nanabah Kee, 21, is also accused of a felony count of tampering with evidence after being accused of hiding a bag of meth on her body in an attempt to hide it from law enforcement on July 17 in a room at the Anasazi Inn at 903 W. Main St. in Farmington. Dawn Runyun (Pickard), 39; Tiffany Yazzie, 36; and Summer Poyer, 34, also face felony counts of conspiracy to commit trafficking a controlled substance.  The 15 suspects accused of trafficking meth are: Ronnie Wabbington, 44; Ronald Ayala, 45; Jose Aranda, 40; Michelle Maley, 53; Brandy Dimas, 23; Stacy Silentman, 33; Terry Emmons Jr., 34; Allaya Gibbs, 23; Laquita Begaye, 41; Michael Sandoval, 37; Charlotte Harrison, 35; Becky Kee, 46; Randy Phillips, 54; Thomas Herrera, 33; and Sondra Kirkendall, 25. https://www.daily-times.com/story/news/crime/2019/07/26/20-arrest-warrants-filed-accused-meth-traffickers-san- juan-county-region-ii-drug-force/1838084001/ 2016/05/12 [Navajo Reservation, NW NM/Meth/Trafficking] Feds indict men trafficking conspiracy https://www.daily-times.com/story/news/crime/2016/05/12/feds-indict-men-meth-trafficking-conspiracy/84281400/ Excerpt:  Police say three of the men arrested were ringleaders of a drug trafficking operation that was responsible for 60 to 70 percent of the meth distributed in San Juan County  FARMINGTON — Eight men are facing federal charges on allegations they were trafficking methamphetamine on the Navajo reservation and in northwest New Mexico, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.  Six of the eight men were arrested Wednesday by agents with Homeland Security Investigations and the Region II Narcotics Task Force, which is composed of law enforcement officers from this area, the release states. https://www.daily-times.com/story/news/crime/2016/05/12/feds-indict-men-meth-trafficking-conspiracy/84281400/ D Chieftain 2019/01/26    [Socorro/Overview/Traffickers] Multiple Traffickers Snagged.  By John Larson http://www.dchieftain.com/news/multiple-traffickers-snagged/article_36406c42-2007-11e9-8742-e75051edf69e.html  2019/09/12   [Socorro/Heroin/Trafficking]  Socorro woman arrested in drug buts.  By John Larson http://www.dchieftain.com/news/socorro-woman-arrested-in-drug-bust/article_4346fea2-d4ab-11e9-96f5- 4f281a6f41b7.html Amy Mendoza, 27…suspected drug trafficking…possession of heroin, fourth degree felony and of drug paraphernalia..resulting from Operation New Day DEA 2019/09/20     [Las Vegas-Albuq/Poly Drug Trafficking]  DEA led multi-agency investigation dismantles major NM poly drug trafficking org https://www.dea.gov/press-releases/2019/09/20/dea-led-multi-agency-investigation-dismantles-major-new-mexico-poly- drug Excerpt:  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Twelve individuals are facing federal drug trafficking and firearms charges as the result of a two-year DEA-led multi-agency investigation into a major New Mexico-based poly-drug trafficking organization allegedly operating between Las Vegas, N.M., and Albuquerque, N.M., under the alleged leadership of Robert Padilla, 42, of Albuquerque. The investigation culminated this week when Padilla and eight other defendants were arrested yesterday and today by teams of federal, state, county, and local law enforcement officers. https://www.dea.gov/press-releases/2019/09/20/dea-led-multi-agency-investigation-dismantles-major-new-mexico-poly- drug 2019/02/08   [Southeastern New Mexico/Major Trafficking Org.] Multi-agency investigation dismantles major drug trafficking organization in southeastern New Mexico https://www.dea.gov/press-releases/2019/02/08/multi-agency-investigation-dismantles-major-drug-trafficking-organization LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Ten people are facing federal drug trafficking charges in New Mexico following an 11-month investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Lea County Drug Task Force.  Teams of federal, state, county and local law enforcement officers conducted a major law enforcement operation on Thursday leading to the arrest of five defendants from New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Texas, and the execution of federal search warrants at residences in La Luz and Hobbs, New Mexico. Officers arrested another defendant on Feb. 5, 2019, and two defendants on Feb. 6, 2019.  A grand jury previously indicted all of the defendants.  During the course of the investigation, law enforcement authorities seized approximately 53 kilograms of methamphetamine, 354 grams of heroin, and 20 firearms. https://www.dea.gov/press-releases/2019/02/08/multi-agency-investigation-dismantles-major-drug-trafficking-organization Deming Headlight 2020/02/14   [Deming/Drug charges/Meth/Marijuana/Trafficking/Firearms] Federal search warrants produce drug- related charges in Deming, NM.  By Bill Armendariz https://www.demingheadlight.com/story/news/2020/02/14/federal-search-warrants-produce-drug-related-charges- deming-nm/4765335002/ Excerpt: The FBI conducted four federal search warrants at four residences of suspected drug traffickers. New Mexico Air National Guard helicopters flew low with spotlights while officers and agents, including the US Border Patrol, Las Cruces/Doña Ana Metro Narcotics Agency, New Mexico State Police, US Customs and Border Protection executed the simultaneous surprise operation.  The search warrants uncovered over six pounds of methamphetamine and over one pound of marijuana. Twenty-two firearms were also seized.  https://www.demingheadlight.com/story/news/2020/02/14/federal-search-warrants-produce-drug-related-charges- deming-nm/4765335002/ El Paso TImes: 2016/10/11 [Mexicans Across Border Into US Drug smuggling/Cocaine/Heroin/Marijuana/Major Trafficking Org.]  Dozen convicted New Mexico drug ring . By Daniel Borunda http://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/crime/2016/10/11/dozen-convicted-new-mexico-drug-ring/91869848/ Excerpt:  A dozen New Mexico, West Texas and Mexico residents have been convicted in federal court in connection with a regional drug trafficking group that used "backpackers" and 18-wheelers to smuggle drugs across the New Mexico border, officials said....Federal agents seized more than $267,000 in drug profits during a multi-agency investigation of what authorities described as a major Mexican drug trafficking organization that transported large amounts of marijuana, cocaine and heroin.  The U.S. Attorney's Office in New Mexico said 12 of 20 people indicted a year ago have been arrested and convicted. Eight other suspects, who are all Mexican citizens, are fugitives. http://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/crime/2016/10/11/dozen-convicted-new-mexico-drug-ring/91869848/ FBI 2018/08/10  [Navajo Reservation, Trafficking/Carjacking/Kidnapping/Murder]  Dismantling a Violent Gang Behind the Scenes of a Rare RICO Case in Indian Country https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/violent-indian-country-gang-dismantled-081018 Excerpt:  They called themselves the Red Skin Kingz, or RSK for short. And unlike most gangs on the sprawling Navajo Nation Indian Reservation that occupies portions of Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona, this criminal group was highly organized and extremely violent.  “Unfortunately, violence in Indian Country is common,” said Mike Caputo, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Phoenix Field Office, explaining that the violent crime rate on the nearly 200 Indian reservations within the FBI’s investigative jurisdiction is about three times the national average. But RSK, whose top leaders were a mother-son team, “was one of the most violent gangs we have ever seen.”  In May 2018, a federal judge in Phoenix sentenced 28-year-old Devan Leonard to 50 years in prison. His mother, Lucille Leonard, was given a 10-year sentence, and a third gang leader, 26-year-old Kyle Gray, received a 30-year prison term. In a rare occurrence, the three were charged with racketeering offenses typically reserved for the Mafia and other highly structured criminal groups.  The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act is a federal statute that provides penalties for actions performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. In this case, RSK had been engaged for years in drug trafficking, carjacking, kidnapping, and murder.  “There was a clear hierarchy,” said Special Agent Bradley Smith, who investigated the case from the FBI’s Gallup Resident Agency in New Mexico. “And they committed crimes in furtherance of the gang. Within the span of four days in 2014,” Smith said, “they murdered, dismembered, and burned the bodies of three people.” https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/violent-indian-country-gang-dismantled-081018 Forbes   2009/01/20   [Espanola/General Drug Info/Modern Historical Perspective]  The Drug Capitals of America.  By Nathan Vardi https://www.forbes.com/2009/01/20/narcotics-heroin-cocaine-biz-beltway-cz_nv_0121drugcities.html#618d63472224 Excerpt:  It may not be surprising that well-known urban centers like New Orleans, Baltimore, and San Francisco appear on the Forbes list of cities dealing with the worst drug problems in the nation. But some smaller communities are also facing epic battles with drugs, including tiny Española, N.M.  Española is a small city in rural Rio Arriba county, north of Santa Fe. Its population of roughly 10,000 includes a large Hispanic community, relies largely on Los Alamos National Lab for employment and struggles with a high poverty rate. This is the U.S. city that consistently ranks among the top in the nation in drug overdoses, according to federal statistics. It is tough to find another American city that records 42.5 drug-related deaths per 100,000, compared with a national average of 7.3.  Heroin is the drug of choice in Española, and local health groups are at a loss to explain the high rate of overdoses despite a longstanding public health effort. In 2001, New Mexico started distributing Narcan, a drug used to reverse the effects of overdose, and bolstered the program in 2007 by giving out Narcan nasal spray instead of needles. Also in 2007, the state passed a law granting immunity from prosecution for people in possession of illegal drugs if they call 911 to seek help for an overdose or take someone to a hospital.  "We are trying to tackle this on a number of fronts," says Deborah Busemeyer of the New Mexico Health Department. "It is certainly concerning that some of our counties are harder-hit than others." https://www.forbes.com/2009/01/20/narcotics-heroin-cocaine-biz-beltway-cz_nv_0121drugcities.html#618d63472224 Gallup Sun 2016/04/08   [Gallup/Heroin]  North Side Gallup man jailed on drug trafficking charge.  By Bernie Dotson http://www.gallupsun.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8772:north-side-gallup-man-jailed-on-drug- trafficking-charge&catid=175:public-safety-&Itemid=602 A Gallup man was jailed April 7 on a felony drug charge as the result of a multi-agency bust on Black Diamond Canyon Drive.  Lt. Pat Salazar of the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office said Robert Gonzales, 41, of 327 Black Diamond Canyon Drive, was taken into custody at about 10:45 am on a possession with the intent of trafficking heroin charge. http://www.gallupsun.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8772:north-side-gallup-man-jailed-on-drug- trafficking-charge&catid=175:public-safety-&Itemid=602 Governors Org. Crime Commission 1978 (historical record)   Drug Abuse and Organized Crime in New Mexico https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/Digitization/51838NCJRS.pdf I Grant County Beat 2020/03/12   Local drug trafficker sentenced in Silver City.  By Roger Lanse https://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/56578-local-drug-trafficker-sentenced-in-silver-city Excerpt:  Gabriel M. Lucero, 32, of Santa Clara, New Mexico, was convicted in Judge Jarod Hofacket’s 6th Judicial District Court-Silver City on Oct. 3, 2019, in a trial by jury, of trafficking cocaine with intent to distribute. The drug charges were the result of a 2015 investigation and arrest. https://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/56578-local-drug-trafficker-sentenced-in-silver-city Updates: 2020/05/13 ABC-2019/07/18; 2020/05/07 FBI-RSK-2018 gang material; 2020/05/03 various insertions and editing; 2020/04/27 Brief Links/created separate page; created separate page Areas; added articles: Deming Headlight-2020/02/14 Alamagordo News- 2020/01/13; Alb. Jrnl-2013/04/04; NewsChannel 10-2019/12/03 and 2019/04/04; DEA-2019/09/20; info on DEA/Task Force; Structural/organizational corrections and additions made;  2020/03/27-ICE 2014/02/27; Daily Times-2019/07/26; 2020/02/22 two drug pages merged-policefactor nm drugs and rivergold nm drugs; 10/07/2017 Justice dot gov 29 San Juan Co;  police factor page started 2016/06/04         
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