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.