ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque police arrested more than a dozen people at a local motel, all of them tied to drug dealing. APD says they’re seeing a disturbing trend when it comes to drug dealing in our city, and that includes the drug fentanyl. 

Not one, not two, but fifteen people were arrested in an Albuquerque Police Department narcotics operation at the Bow and Arrow Lodge on east Central. Gilbert Gallegos with the Albuquerque Police Department explains, “These are all felony arrests. So we’re not going after the misdemeanor. People who maybe have a couple pills on them, that they’re purchasing them.”

The Central Narcotic Unit launched the operation in April after complaints about illegal drug sales and criminal activity at the motel. During ‘Operation Broken Arrow,’ search warrants were served in several rooms at the motel. Deputies found multiple firearms, thousands of dollars in cash, hundreds of fentanyl pills, xanax, meth and crack cocaine. 

Gallegos shared, “As these people got back out of the jail, we had surveillance going and we’re able to see that they were just right back out there and doing the same thing. So this didn’t take that long at all, at least, you know, a month to six weeks.”

APD knows that motels are a popular place for drug deals. With the uptick in narcotic cases – law enforcement is looking to business owners for help. “We cannot have hotel owners or other responsible citizens aiding and abetting them…they can turn away the business if they feel that there’s going to be illegal activity in their motels,” said Gallegos. 

Deputies are also seeing a lot of drug deals go wrong, oftentimes ending in homicides. He continues, “We see a large amount of drugs, and it turns into violent crime. And unfortunately, we’re seeing a lot more homicides related to this kind of activity.”

According to APD, surveillance video on the motel property shows open drug sales and drug use in and around the area. Mayor Keller’s Metro Crime Initiative is starting back up next week. This year it will focus on gun crimes, fentanyl use, and domestic violence.