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Search yields fentanyl, pistol

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico State Police and the FBI arrested an unlikely pair early Tuesday in Albuquerque – a 17-year-old juvenile and a 76-year-old man – after a search that netted 60 suspected fentanyl pills, ammunition and a tactical AR-15 loaded pistol.

Details of the investigation that led to the early morning bust at a home in Albuquerque’s South Valley weren’t released Tuesday.

Nathaniel Valenzuela, 17, and Roger Valenzuela, 76, were arrested by State Police agents and FBI SWAT team members who executed a search for firearms, fentanyl and other items related to drug trafficking, according to a the search warrant return and a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.

The search warrant inventory, filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque, showed the property seized also included one spent .223 casing in the front seat of a BMW vehicle, a pistol receiver that had no serial number, and a handgun buttstock for a Glock pistol.

It wasn’t clear late Tuesday what charges the younger Valenzuela is facing.

But the older Valenzuela was charged with resisting, evading or obstructing an officer after he allegedly walked away from law enforcement agents during the search, ignored commands, and rolled into a ball “while concealing his hands, and knees up to his chest.” He was ultimately handcuffed and stopped resisting, the state complaint states.

State Police, along with the FBI agents and Albuquerque police, have increasingly discovered potentially deadly illegal fentanyl pills for sale in the Albuquerque area.

The light blue pills, marked M30, are typically manufactured to appear as if they were prescription grade oxycodone. But sometimes the pills can be laced with the painkiller fentanyl, unbeknownst to those who ingest them.

Fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin and has been linked to a dramatic surge in drug overdose deaths nationwide.