Five arrested in multi-agency drug busts

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Acting on tips that alleged drug trafficking in the areas of Peñasco, Dixon and Cordova, a multi-agency drug task force executed five search warrants at residences in Taos and Rio Arriba counties Thursday (March 15) and arrested five people on drug charges.

New Mexico State Police received the tips late last year and began a three-month operation that culminated in last week's arrests of Leonard Gallegos, 34, of Dixon, 28-year-old Danielle Rodriguez of Peñasco, 72-year-old Viola Quintana of Peñasco, 48-year-old Patrick Medina of Peñasco and Adam Casada, age unknown.

State police conducted the operation in cooperation with the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office, Rio Arriba County Sheriff's Office and members of the New Mexico High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, which recently expanded its area of operations to Taos County.

The multi-agency force executed standard search warrants at five residences located across the three communities, recovering a total of 320 illegal prescription pills, 4.8 ounces of cocaine, 2.1 grams of methamphetamine, 6.5 grams of heroin, 1 ounce of marijuana, 82 Suboxone strips and three handguns.

Lt. Edwardo Martinez, Commander of the state police district in Taos County, said that operations to combat drug trafficking in Taos County are ongoing. He said that last week's operation should have a significant impact on the small communities where the warrants were executed.

"Our main focus is to continue these types of operations," he said. "It's one of the priorities of state police and the region three task force. Now that Taos County is part of the Region III HIDTA program, that opens us up to more resources to continue these types of narcotics investigations."

Martinez said information can be submitted to his office or to Taos County Crime Stoppers at (575) 758-4258.

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Corey Martinez

So let me get this right, the drug bust was in Taos County but the Taos County Sheriff's Dept. was not involved in the operation? Makes you wonder..... When the State Police trust Rio Arriba County Sheriff's Department more than Taos County, there is something really wrong there!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 20 | Report this
Carol Miller

When will some of the people who have become millionaires selling drugs to Northern NM be arrested? Can anyone remember a single bust that brought down the big suppliers? In 40 years working on substance misuse issues, I am not aware of any big money person being arrested or jailed. Please correct me if I missed a "king pin" bust. Arresting low level users might make a headline but will do nothing to address the problem. One count of marijuana under one ounce? Really. That's a sting? Tipsters?

Marijuana will be legal in NM within a couple of years, just as it is is neighboring states. It is time to stop wasting court time and legal system costs on low level marijuana busts. .

Tuesday, March 20 | Report this
Kristen Davenport

It seriously took five agencies to arrest these folks? As Carol Miller correctly points out-- these are not the kingpins. These are addicts stuck in their addictino. The kingpins walked free. It's interesting to note that in the week after these five were arrested, two men in the Penasco area died of heroin overdoses in the same week. This seems very likely related -- addicts go to a new source for their drug, and find the same dose they used to take is now fatal. I'm not sure law enforcement helped anything or anyone, here.

Saturday, April 7 | Report this