Thursday, October 7, 2010

Latest Drug Bust Reveals Disturbing Trend

By John Larson

SOCORRO - Two men were arrested Thursday, Sept. 30 on narcotics violations following a tip from a confidential informant.
Victor Herrera, 47, of Polvadera, was charged  with trafficking methamphetamine, conspiracy, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of marijuana; and Julian Chavez, 35, of Los Lunas was charged with trafficking methamphetamine, conspiracy, possession of drug paraphernalia, and tampering with evidence.
Sgt. Rocky Fernandez of the Socorro Police Department said Valencia County law enforcement officers confirmed the informant’s information, and that one of the men, Julian Chavez, 35, of Los Lunas, had valid arrest warrants from a separate investigation.
“Based on identifiers of the suspect and description of the vehicle, we pulled over the car once it got to Socorro,” Fernandez said.
He said two other people were also in the vehicle and that a glass pipe used for smoking methamphetamine was seen in plain view in the vehicle. A scale was also found on the dashboard of the vehicle.
“At first [Chavez] denied it was him they were looking, and said he was being mixed up with his brother. He then later admitted it was him,” Fernandez said.
According to the criminal complaint, Chavez told the officer “he was just messed up and likes to do dope,” and when asked about the scales he said he “was using more than selling.”
“He told me he had swallowed his stash, so he was transported to Socorro General Hospital,” Fernandez said. “He was given [a strong diuretic] and the evidence was identified the next day.”
Fernandez said Herrera, the driver, also admitted to selling drugs, primarily to maintain his own meth habit.
A third person in the vehicle, Tanya Carrillo, was issued non-traffic citations for possession of Clonazepam without a prescription and drug paraphernalia, and released.
Sgt. Richard Lopez, who assisted in the operation, said the numerous drug related arrests in Socorro by city, county and other law enforcement agencies have resulted a decrease of local dealers.
“We’ve been getting an influx of drugs from Belen,” Lopez said. “They look at Socorro as a good market for pot and meth. There are plenty of drugs in Belen [and Valenica County]. We’re see more people delivering meth and pot to Socorro.”
The preliminary hearing for Chavez is scheduled for Oct. 13.
The preliminary hearing for Herrera is scheduled for Oct. 20.

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