Police arrest several alleged drug dealers
Police arrested several people for drug trafficking during the second half of June, including alleged dealers of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and more.
Socorro Police Department Detective Rocky Fernandez said police served four search warrants June 21 on people from whom they had been making undercover drug buys.
Police arrested Pete Silva, Rojelio Silva, Anastacio Garza, Kristy Rizzo and Michelle Chavez.
Fernandez said police found several bindles of alleged cocaine in Rojelio Silva’s possession at the time of his arrest. A bindle is a small package of drug powder, often a small piece of paper, thin cardboard or tin foil folded into a tiny envelope, but sometimes a corner of a plastic bag tied off with a rubber band or twist tie.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Socorro Magistrate Court, police executed their search warrant at Rojelio Silva’s residence on Calle Bonita about 4:30 p.m. June 21. They found 22 individually packaged plastic bindles of cocaine within a larger plastic bag that was in Rojelio Silva’s pocket, plus two more coke bindles in a kitchen drawer and less than an ounce of marijuana in the bedroom. The total weight of the cocaine confiscated was 11 grams.
Fernandez said Chavez was arrested with four bindles of alleged methamphetamine in her possession; Garza with alleged Percocet pills, marijuana and drug paraphernalia; and Pete Silva with alleged narcotic pills, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
The criminal complaint filed on Chavez in Magistrate Court states officers executed a search warrant at a California Street business, where they met with Chavez. She surrendered a bag from her pocket that contained four individual packages of methamphetamine and $147 cash.
Fernandez said it can take anywhere from a few weeks to six months or more to complete an arrest through undercover buying.
“It just depends on how fast we can do the undercover buys and get the search warrants done,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez said the four arrests were a result of cooperative efforts among SPD officers, New Mexico State Police and officers from various other agencies within Region VII of the Multi-Jurisdictional Task Forces, the seven narcotics enforcement task forces in the state. Region VII includes all the law enforcement agencies in the southwest area of the state, encompassing the counties of Socorro, Sierra, Doña Ana, Luna, Hidalgo, Grant and Catron.
Fernandez said investigations on those four individuals, as well as other alleged dealers, is ongoing.
“These people don’t stop just because they get caught,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez said methamphetamine used to be the drug most often found by police in Socorro, but meth is now being eclipsed by heroin.
“We get heroin on almost a daily basis,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez noted many people are prescribed pain medications by physicians, and those pills are highly addictive.
However, the pills are also very expensive, so people turn to the black market for heroin. He said a person can get a BB of heroin for $20, which can provide several doses, while some pain medications might cost $20 for just one pill.
On June 14, Fernandez said, police stopped a vehicle driven by Kevin Edwards. Officers allegedly found heroin, syringes and several stolen credit cards in the vehicle.
Drugs and paraphernalia were allegedly found within easy reach of children at Edwards and Tanya Anaya’s residence, so the children were removed from their custody by the Children, Youth and Families Department.
The criminal complaint states Edwards told police the stolen cards were Anaya’s, so Fernandez went to their apartment to speak with her. When Anaya answered the door, she had blood on her shirt, and both of her arms were scabbed over and bruised. Anaya said she and Edwards had a problem and needed help, and had meant to seek help for their addictions that day. Anaya admitted to having heroin in her room, and Fernandez found a large amount of heroin inside a green plastic container she showed him. He also saw a spoon with heroin and a syringe in plain view on her dresser.
The criminal complaint states Sgt. Richard Lopez joined Fernandez at the apartment, and the two detectives continued to search. They found more heroin, used syringes in the dirty laundry on the floor, paraphernalia and more containers with heroin residue. The heroin confiscated weighed 5 grams, and six credit cards with three different names were found in the vehicle. None of the names on the cards were Anaya or Edwards.
Edwards and Anaya were both arrested and taken to the hospital for medical clearance before being booked, according to the criminal complaint.
“It’s an ongoing thing,” Fernandez said of the drug busts. “We’re busy; it doesn’t stop for us.”
Fernandez said police stopped Kristy Rizzo in a vehicle on June 25 on Baca Street and found alleged heroin.
According to the criminal complaint filed in magistrate court, Rizzo was charged with possession of heroin, two pills and a strip of Suboxone, less than an ounce of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Suboxone, a prescription medication used to treat opioid addiction, can also be abused by opioid users.
The heroin and Suboxone charges are fourth-degree felonies; the other charges are misdemeanors.
The complaint states that about 9:15 p.m. June 25, police watched a vehicle driven by Rizzo pull up to a residence occupied by a known drug user where a man had overdosed the week before. Officers met with Rizzo and two male passengers in her car. Police found heroin in the car and in Rizzo’s purse, which also contained the Suboxone.