ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Representatives from the U.S. Marshal Service and several local police agencies are touting the results of a recent 90-day, statewide operation helping net guns and fentanyl pills. Agency leaders gathered for a news conference Friday, saying 310 people were arrested as part of the operation, removing at least 100 guns and roughly 119 pounds of fentanyl pills from the streets of New Mexico.
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Officially called, “Operation Blue Crush,” federal officials say over the last three months, local and federal agents conducted busts in and around cities including Las Cruces, Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Hobbs, Roswell, Deming, Albuquerque, Los Lunas, Santa Fe, Espanola, Las Vegas and Farmington. The operation officially wrapped up Thursday night. More than twenty local agencies in New Mexico helped take part.
Of the more than 300 arrests, the U.S. Marshal Service says 20 to 30 of the cases are expected to be charged in the federal system, while the rest are expected to be charged in New Mexico district courts. At Friday’s news conference, law enforcement officials said 60% of the arrests were tied to fentanyl, while agents also arrested six homicide suspects, one kidnapping suspect and several others on weapons charges, sex offenses or aggravated assault charges.
The operation was coordinated, in part, by the “New Mexico High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area,” or New Mexico HIDTA. That’s a decades-old national initiative comprised of police organizations from state, local, tribal and federal levels.