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Safe removed after deadly shootout held drugs

Justin Mack, 35.

Justin Mack, 35.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Police have cracked two safes they say belong to a drug dealer who shot and killed two armed robbers this month.

Inside, they found more than 2 ounces of heroin and less than a gram of methamphetamine.

The alleged dealer, 35-year-old Justin Mack, was charged with trafficking drugs after the discovery, but isn’t facing any charges for shooting the two robbers on Sept. 7.

That night, police arrived at a chaotic scene. They had been called to a possible home invasion or robbery on Washington near Gibson SE, and arrived to find two men shot. One was dead, and the other was taken to a hospital but died soon after.

The two killed were identified by police as Christopher Gonzalez, 18, and Joshua Valker, 25. Police say a third robbery suspect, identified in a criminal complaint as Nicholas Leckey, shot and killed himself in his car soon after the incident.

The fourth, Eduardo Ramirez-Llamas, 22, stayed at the scene and pretended to be a witness, police say. He later told police the four had planned to rob Mack, his friend’s heroin dealer. He has been charged with armed robbery, among other crimes.

When the group went into the house, Mack grabbed a gun and they fled. Ramirez-Llamas said he was the only one who made it back to the car they arrived in.

Mack told officers the suspects broke into his home and threatened him. He grabbed a gun and they ran outside. One of the suspects fired a shot, and the other pointed a gun at Mack, he told officers.

He then fired at them.

When police searched Mack’s home they found two safes and five guns – three handguns, a shotgun and a rifle, along with ammunition.

Police asked Mack for the code to the safes a few days after the shooting, but he didn’t call them back. They executed a search warrant and forced them open.

Officers found 40 balloons of black tar heroin that weighed 53.8 grams, along with loaded syringes, miscellaneous pills and pipes. Another bag had 10.7 grams of heroin in it. And another bag had 0.9 gram of amphetamine.

Police said Mack refused to return any of their phone calls and didn’t show up to a scheduled court appearance, so they issued a warrant for his arrest.

“Justin was targeted because he is a ‘heroin dealer’ which placed the community in danger,” an officer wrote in the complaint.

Mack was arrested Tuesday and charged with two counts of drug trafficking. He was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on $25,000 bail.

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