Heroin Bust Removes Dealer From Streets

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Heroin Bust Removes Dealer From Streets

Staff Report

Heroin use is a growing epidemic nationwide and the Espanola Valley remains a major battleground in the fight to stop it. On Wednesday, Jan. 13 Espanola Police Detectives Eric Gallant and George Martinez were able to put a stop to one dealer when they arrested Fernando J. Trujillo Jr. (24) for dealing heroin.

Acting on a tip about an individual selling narcotics, Detectives Gallant and Martinez placed Trujillo under surveillance. The suspect was observed conducting a drug sales operation and the detectives made the decision to place him in custody. On Wednesday afternoon Detectives Gallant and Martinez moved in and arrested Trujillo in the parking lot of Pizza Hut on Riverside Drive, where Trujillo had just driven into.

Detective Gallant reported that Trujillo was found to be in possession of approximately one ounce of heroin, one ounce of marijuana and $950 of loose cash. It turns out that Trujillo, who is a convicted felon was also in possession of a .22 caliber Tarsus handgun with a fully loaded magazine. And the car he was driving had been reported stolen on Saturday.

Trujillo was booked in to custody at the Espanola Police Department and is facing several charges including trafficking of a controlled substance (his second offense), possession of marijuana, felony possession of a firearm, and receiving or transferring a stolen motor vehicle, among other charges.

When reached for comment, Detective Gallant said, “We are wanting to focus more on narcotics because they are the source of much of the crime in the area. Most of the property crimes and other crimes are related to drugs”. Gallant added “we in the department are very grateful to the community for helping us address these issues. I want to encourage people to keep helping, to share information when they see something that is not right.“

A week earlier on Jan. 6, Detectives Gallant and Martinez , along with Sherriff James Lujan and Deputy Cody Lattin arrested three people in La Mesilla for stealing power tools from Lowes Home Improvement Center. According to the criminal complaint, Orlando Lewis Rodriguez (42), his son Bryan A. Rodriguez (21) and Jeremy Atencio (35) were taken into custody for stealing power tools from Lowes in Espanola and Santa Fe, which they confessed to selling in order to pay for their heroin addiction.

The senior and junior Rodriguez’s confessed to several other property crimes cases, which Detective Gallant said solved several incidents that had occurred in the area over the past year.

Gallant spoke passionately about the need for more law enforcement presence to address these issue, saying, “We are outnumbered out there and we need more officers. The support of the community is important in order for us to get it.

A preliminary investigation of the suspected heroin dealer, Trujillo shows he has a previous conviction for trafficking, and had been arrested in June for a similar charge in Los Alamos for which he was currently out on bond.  

Detective Gallant stated that the estimated street value of the heroin is be between $1200 and $1500 per ounce with a dealer collecting a profit of around $1000 per ounce.

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama focused on national epidemic of addictions to prescription painkiller and heroin, as being a problem the entire nation must address.