Law enforcement continues the mop-up after a massive sting operation that occurred on Sept. 22. The original raids resulted in 67 people being arrested on charges of drug trafficking.
A total of 84 warrants were issued before the Sept. 22 sting, 57 warrants for federal charges of drug trafficking and another 27 under state charges. By the end the day, 17 people remained at large.
The operation was a combined county, state and federal effort, including Chaves County Metro Narcotics Task Force and [auth] Mobile Enforcement Team from the DEA’s El Paso Division Office. Officers from the New Mexico State Police, Roswell Police Department’s SWAT team and sheriff’s deputies from Chaves County, along with deputies from Eddie, Lea and Otero counties also participated.
Since that time, nearly half have been apprehended. On Sept. 23, the New Mexico State Police arrested Samantha McCoy on a state warrant. David Sorenson turned himself in to the RPD on Sept. 25.
On Wednesday, Sept. 28, RPD arrested two others. Jerry Martinez, who was wanted under a federal warrant, was apprehended on the 300 block of East Forest Street. Gabriel Gonzales was picked up at the intersection of Third Street and Union Avenue.
Also arrested by the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office were Sarah Chapman, Yvette Moya, who faces federal charges; Francisca Sanchez, state; and Adrian Orona, who is wanted by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Fire.
Those who remain fugitives from justice are Gerald Sentell, Patrick Stacy, Jesse Garza, Charlie Contreras, Daria Martinez, Victor Alvidrez and Peggy Sue Montoya.
The operation followed an intensive three-month-long investigation. Officials seized more than five pounds of methamphetamine, nearly two pounds of cocaine, 12 ounces of heroin, and a little over 4 ounces of marijuana, along with an undisclosed quantity of pharmaceutical narcotics.
In addition, officials obtained 14 firearms, four AK-47 rifles, four AR-15 rifles and six semi-automatic handguns, during the investigation. During the raid, agents confiscated five more firearms and impounded five vehicles.