Woman facing felony drug charges for meth dealing

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A Socorro woman is facing felony drug charges in 7th Judicial District Court after police found her allegedly dealing methamphetamine at a local car wash.

Geri Lynn Jojola is charged with second-degree felony trafficking of methamphetamine; resisting an officer, a misdemeanor; battery upon a peace officer, a fourth-degree felony; and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony. The case was bound over from Socorro Magistrate Court on March 27.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court, a detective patrolling on duty the evening of March 15 noticed Jojola’s car at a car wash, and the passenger from a red pickup appeared to be meeting with her.

The pickup passenger was later identified as Richard Guerrero, who is charged with misdemeanor assault on a peace officer for his part in the incident. Court records indicate another charge against Guerrero, conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance, was dismissed nolle prosequi by the 7th Judicial District Attorney’s office following his March 27 Magistrate Court appearance.

The criminal complaint states the detective drove in to the car wash, and as he exited his vehicle he noticed Jojola had a bindle (small drug package) in her hand. When the detective asked Jojola to hand over what she had, she allegedly put several plastic-wrapped bindles in her mouth.

The detective then grabbed Jojola’s neck to keep her from swallowing, according to the criminal complaint. He ordered her to spit out the bindles, and tried to sweep them out of her mouth with his finger. That was when Jojola allegedly bit the detective’s finger.

As the detective struggled with Jojola, he saw the red pickup leaving the vacuum stalls at the car wash. Guerrero then allegedly exited the passenger side and approached aggressively, so the detective drew his weapon and told the man to back off. Guerrero then ran away, and the detective continued to struggle with Jojola to keep her from swallowing bindles.

The detective then watched Jojola spit out a piece of a bindle, according to the criminal complaint. Eventually another officer arrived and Jojola was taken into custody, and police found pieces of bindles all over the area where the detective and Jojola struggled.

The detective found the piece he saw Jojola spit out, according to the criminal complaint. Much of the bindle’s contents could be seen pulverized into the concrete. As police tried to collect the evidence later, some had been carried away by the breeze and some was too deeply ground in the concrete to remove. The detective swabbed some for lab analysis; it later tested positive for methamphetamine.

The complaint states some of the bindles appeared bloody — possibly from the detective’s finger, which bled profusely from being bitten. Jojola denied swallowing anything, but was taken to the hospital for a medical clearance.

Other officers stopped the red pickup and arrested both occupants. The driver spoke freely to police, according to the criminal complaint, saying he had picked up Guerrero, who told him to go to the car wash so they could get some methamphetamine. The driver provided a written statement and allowed a search of his pickup, then was released.

Officers learned Guerrero was on probation, and the Adult Probation Office issued an arrest order for him when notified of the incident.

Jojola and Guerrero were both booked into the Socorro County Detention Center.

Jojola is facing four other charges in District Court stemming from a separate arrest in February — two counts of trafficking a controlled substance, child abuse and tampering with evidence. Socorro Police Department blotters state Jojola was pulled over the afternoon of Feb. 7 for possibly having narcotics, and police obtained a search warrant for her vehicle. Jojola allegedly disposed of drugs in the SPD parking lot, but police found them and logged them into evidence.