ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Transporters in south, north dealers busted
More than 50 drug dealers and distributors in different parts of the state were rounded up as part of two federal investigations, U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said Thursday.
“Both addressed both ends of the drug trafficking scourge in New Mexico: the transporters in the south and the people who sell the drugs at a street level in the north,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said the Española Valley has a “very serious” heroin problem and has grappled with it for many years. He said as part of the operation, 15 people were arrested on federal drug charges and 14 others were arrested on state drug charges.
“The situation there is simply not acceptable,” he said at a news conference in Albuquerque. “This … operation is a first step toward bringing positive changes to the Española Valley. But as we all know, we have a very long way to go. For now, I can tell you that the goal with this operation is to reduce the availability of heroin and other drugs in the Valley before they and the people who dispense them wreak havoc in the lives of the families who call Española and Rio Arriba County home.”
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.
Santa Fe County District Attorney Angela “Spence” Pacheco said she appreciated federal authorities taking an interest in the drug problems that have plagued her part of New Mexico. She said the drug problem contributes to other crime in the area.
“We’ve seen numerous violent crimes such as aggravated batteries, murders, robberies, all associated with the drug problem. And as a result of this operation several individuals who have been involved in contributing to that problem have been arrested,” she said.
According to a U.S. Department of Justice news release, 2,266 people were arrested as part of “Project Deliverance,” and law enforcement seized 74 tons of illegal drugs and $154 million in cash.
Thursday, 10 June 2010 11:41
U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales on Thursday announced federal
prosecutions against drug dealers in Southeastern New Mexico and the
Gonzales said 20 defendants were charged in the Española Valley, 15 of which have already been arrested. They were charged with offenses such as distributing cocaine, methamphetamine, prescription drugs and heroin. Gonzales said the dealers arrested were mostly longtime Española Valley residents.
In an unrelated bust, 39 people were charged as being part of a distribution ring based out of El Paso, Texas and Chaparral, N.M., Gonzales said. They were allegedly distributing drugs throught New Mexico and Texas and into Colorado and other states.