Authorities arrest 12 in southeast New Mexico on drug, firearm charges

Leonard Tapia
October 06, 2017 06:53 PM

ROSWELL, N.M. -- It was a bad day to be a criminal in Roswell this past Wednesday.


Seven out of 15 people were arrested for drug trafficking charges as part of a multi-agency investigation initiated by the DEA back in May. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, authorities seized more than 2.5 kilograms of meth. They also found 44 firearms that were reportedly planned on being smuggled into Mexico.

"Anytime we get a chance to involve our federal partners -- whether it be the DEA or FBI -- we really need them to help us in these sophisticated drug trafficking cases," said Chaves County Sheriff Britt Snyder.

The suspects are now facing a variety of felony charges. Twelve of the 12 culprits are in federal custody pending detention hearings scheduled for next week.

"If we want to drive our crime numbers down then let's starting putting people in jail and keeping them there for a while," Snyder said.

Investigators are still looking for three more suspects -- 21-year-old Erik Santos, 42-year-old Robert Ponce, and 25-year-old Chelcy Vasquez.  As authorities continue their search for the three fugitives, Snyder said an operation as big as this one will not only keep drugs out of the community but potentially keep criminals from committing more crimes.

"Probably 80 percent of the jail population is in there because of drugs one way or another," he said. "We want to go after the biggest drug dealers so we can and try to affect the supply, and here at the local level is where we got to address the demand."


Leonard Tapia

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