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          Front Page  news  state

Raid Ends With Man's 125th Arrest

By Jeff Proctor
Journal Staff Writer
          Police arrested Kevin Garner early Thursday — for the 125th time.
        Garner's criminal history dates back to November 1985, and includes convictions for kidnapping, extortion, child abuse, motor vehicle theft, aggravated assault and more.
        City Public Safety Director Darren White said he was shocked when detectives showed him Garner's name on the warrant for his most recent arrest.
        "I knew exactly who he was from 20 years ago when I was a street cop," White said. "I thought: 'How could this guy still be on the streets?' You can't have people like Kevin Garner walking around if you expect to do anything about New Mexico's crime problem."
        Garner's 125th arrest occurred around 5 a.m. when the Albuquerque Police SWAT Team raided his Todos Santos NW home, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
        Garner, 42, and Jennifer Silva-Ziegler, 39, flushed some drugs down the toilet before police got inside, according to the warrant. But detectives still found large quantities of methamphetamine in baggies and phony shaving cream bottles, the makings of a meth lab, possibly stolen auto parts in the living room and garage, scales, marijuana and a 9 mm handgun in the stove.
        Narcotics detectives had been watching Garner's home for more than two weeks.
        Garner was jailed at the Metropolitan Detention Center on charges of trafficking meth, evidence tampering and conspiracy. He remained at the West Side jail late Thursday on a $100,000 cash only bond.
        Silva-Ziegler faces the same charges, according to jail records. She was still in jail Thursday evening on a $17,500 cash or surety bond.
        Garner's home was in such a state of disrepair — there were exposed wires all over the house and numerous other code violations — that city officials condemned the property.
        "There was a motorcycle in the living room," White said. "There was oil leaking all over the place. And that's before we got to the garage. Our auto theft detectives are going through all the parts we found, and we won't be a bit surprised if a lot of this stuff was stolen."
        About half of Garner's 125 arrests were for probation violations, which don't typically lead to prison time. But many of the remainder were for serious offenses.
        Garner spent four years and four months in prison between 1998 and 2002 on a laundry list of charges including aggravated assault, felony drug possession, possession of firearms, assault on a police officer and shooting at or from a motor vehicle, according to the state Department of Corrections.
        It's unclear how much time Garner has spent in the county jail.
        Garner picked up a new felony drug charge in December 2007, but did not spend any time in prison. Instead, he spent a year and a half on probation, which ended in August, according to the corrections department.

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