SANTA FE (KRQE) - In January Department of Corrections officers made seven contraband busts in just 10 days confiscating everything from marijuana to cocaine.
The busts are from prisons across the state. Officials with department say the busts are helping get major drug dealers off the streets.
Officers are using special intercept techniques to break up the codes prisoners use to communicate with their drug dealers when they're asking for drugs.
They listen in on phone calls scanning them for clues and spend hours pouring over every detail. At the beginning of January, their determination paid off while listening to this phone call:
- Prisoner: "Are you going to play a little bit of baseball this weekend? Just a little bit?"
- Dealer: "Me? Stopping right there? Do you think they'll catch that?"
They figured out the dealer was scheduled to make a drop in an open field outside the Central Correctional Facility in Los Lunas.
The officer assigned to the case found a plastic bag with tobacco, marijuana, Suboxone pills, a syringe and crack cocaine in it waiting for the prisoner to come pick it up. They were able to arrest the dealer and charge him with drug smuggling.
"We make sure that they're not coming back into our neighborhoods with the same pro-criminal attitude, the same substance-abuse problems and the same problems getting employment," Corrections Secretary Gregg Marcantel said.
Marcantel said he believes getting drugs away from prisoners not only keeps prisoners, guards and the community safe, but he says it helps to make sure criminals are rehabilitated in jail instead of just being housed there.
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