Thursday, June 24, 2010

Deputies Recover 2 Pounds Of Heroin At Accident Site

By John Larson

SOCORRO - Thanks to an alleged deer running across Interstate 25 at mile marker 121, over two pounds of heroin was recovered by Socorro County Sheriff’s deputies.
Gabriel Alonzo Rodriguez-Loya, a Mexican national, was arrested after packets of heroin stuffed into two socks were linked to his vehicle at an accident scene early Thursday, June 17.
Rodriguez-Loya, 27, of Durango, Mex., admitted to deputies he was delivering the narcotic to a location in Chilili, in Torrance County.
Deputy Sheriff Casey Spurgin estimated the street value of the heroin to be as much as $25,000.
Spurgin said he was at home asleep when he was alerted to a rollover accident at about 3 a.m. Thursday, June 17.
“When I arrived at the scene, he was sitting against the guardrail. He said he lost control while swerving to avoid a deer crossing the roadway. There were a couple of truckers who stayed with him until I got there,” Spurgin said. “He had some lacerations from the accident. He said he was heading to Albuquerque to compete in a rodeo in Chilili.
“I looked over the vehicle, and he did not have any rodeo gear in his vehicle. No saddle or any other rodeo related gear with him,” he said. “There was nothing to substantiate his statement.”
Deputy James Nance, who was on another call in Veguita, was contacted to assist Spurgin.
Checking around the vehicle, which had rolled twice, Spurgin noticed boot tracks and evidence of someone crawling up the small hill in the wide median.
“I followed the tracks until I found two black socks in the bushes. The heroin packets were in the socks,” he said.
Rodriguez-Loya was arrested and transported by ambulance to Socorro General Hospital, where he told Spurgin he “knew he had to hide it.”
He was treated for lacerations and incarcerated at the Socorro County Detention Center.
Rodriguez-Loya appeared in Magistrate Court later that day, where Judge Jim Naranjo dismissed the case, on a “nolle prosequi” filing from the District Attorney.
The case will now be taken over by federal authorities.

Picture: Sheriff's Deputies James Nance and Casey Spurgin at Baca's Towing and Repair displaying the two pounds of heroin recovered.

Photo by John Larson