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Suspected drug dealer: ABQ is a ‘crazy place’

Manuel “Little Sapo” Bolivar holds a gun and flashes a gang sign. (From federal court documents)

Cash from Bolivar’s social media posting. (From federal court documents)

Members of the FBI Violent Crime Task Force raided Bolivar’s home before sunrise earlier this month. (From federal court documents)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

A South Side Locos street gang member arrested on drug and weapons charges told members of an FBI task force that – in addition to drugs and cash – he had a machine gun and other firearms in his house because Albuquerque is “a crazy place” and “very violent.”

The agents were investigating a gang that was robbing street-level drug dealers when they raided the home of Manuel Humberto Bolivar, 21, earlier this month.

Bolivar, who is known as “Manny,” “Gino,” “G” and “Little Sapo,” was charged in federal court with possession of a machine gun, possession of methamphetamine and fentanyl and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

After arranging for undercover drug purchases from Bolivar, agents conducted a predawn raid on his home in Southwest Albuquerque, finding 3 pounds of methamphetamine, almost $16,000 in cash, five pistols and two rifles, 96 blue fentanyl tablets, 155 packaged strips of suboxone and a bulletproof vest, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition.

During the raid, agents found a full-automatic selector switch that, when installed, allows a Glock 9mm pistol to be fired as a fully automatic firearm, according to court records. The switch can be installed in seconds and turns the weapon into what is considered a machine gun under federal law, according to the complaint filed against Bolivar.

A lower-level drug dealer had told agents that Bolivar, who faces a potential life sentence, was a “big-time plug” who had supplied him with drugs more than a thousand times. The lower-level dealer told agents Bolivar received drugs from an organization in Mexico.

Federal court documents identified Bolivar as a member of the South Side Locos and included photographs of Bolivar flashing gang signs.

According to court records, Bolivar talked with agents after his arrest and admitted he was selling methamphetamine and blue pills marked “M-30” but said he thought they were oxycodone, not fentanyl, which is more dangerous. He also told agents that three of the pistols they found were his, one of which he bought outside a gas station for $100. Three of the handguns found in Bolivar’s home had been reported stolen.

According to the court records, Bolivar told agents he used the firearms for protection of his home and family.

Agents also said they found more than eight pounds of marijuana that Bolivar claimed was for his personal use.

Robbing the competition

Over the past six months, the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force has been investigating a group suspected of robbing street-level dealers while also selling drugs, including fentanyl.

Members of the robbery group in Albuquerque, according to court records, are affiliated through their association with the South Side Locos street gang.

Bolivar’s arrest was the fourth in connection with the investigation in the past four months.

Over the course of the investigation, agents have seized an additional machine gun, other firearms, a silencer, high-capacity magazines, heroin, cocaine, fentanyl and $10,000.

The South Side Locos gang originated in Southern California and has factions in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada.

According to court records, when South Side Locos gang members are in prison they associate with the California Sureños under the leadership of the Mexican Mafia.

If convicted, Bolivar faces a minimum of 10 years to life in prison for methamphetamine possession, up to 20 years in prison for fentanyl possession, up to 10 years in prison for possession of a machine gun, and a consecutive sentence of a minimum of five years in prison for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

The FBI task force is made up of agents and members of the Albuquerque Police Department, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and New Mexico State Police.

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