City police make heroin busts

William Thompson

The Tucumcari Police Department kept busy in October, making two separate heroin arrests and finding a cache of weapons at a convicted felon’s residence.

On the morning of Oct. 3, four Tucumcari Police Officers showed up at 1020 S. Monroe Apt. 8. According to Chief Dennis Townsend, a search warrant was served and three people, Frank Carbajal, Grace Carbajal and Anthony Carbajal were arrested and charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute. “The officers announced their presence and said they had a search warrant,” said Townsend. “Most likely an officer kicked the door in. Officers found 12 packaged doses of heroin that sell for about $100 to $150 each on the street.”

Tucumcari Police found even more heroin in a separate incident at 1301 S. Seventh Street later the same day. Seven officers were on the scene. “Sylvan Hendren was charged with trafficking in heroin. He had one ounce of heroin, one and a half ounces of cocaine and a quarter ounce of methamphetamine in his possession.,” said Townsend.
Townsend said the total street value of the drugs confiscated on Oct. 3 is estimated to be around $15,000.
“The officers had the two residences under surveillance,” said Townsend. “These officers also have their normal daily shifts to work. Surveillance can sometimes last weeks, months or even more than a year. The reason surveillance can last so long is that it takes a long time to put a case together so we don’t lose the case in court.”

In addition to the drug arrests, four officers arrived at 706 E. Turner on Oct. 18 and found five deadly weapons in James Apodaca’s possession. Apodaca is a convicted felon.
“He had an SKS assault rifle, a riot gun, and other rifles,” said Townsend. “I really don’t know why he had the weapons, but he is facing possible prison time.”
Townsend seemed confident is saying that the drugs confiscated in October were meant to be sold on the streets of Tucumcari. “The public should not be afraid to call the police or Crimestoppers to report illegal drug activity,” said Townsend. “A caller does not have to give his or her name, and we don’t have caller ID at the police station except for 911 calls.”

Townsend said if police are summoned and see drug dealing taking place they will immediately make an arrest.
“I think the drug dealing has slowed down a little bit since the arrests we made,” said Townsend. “It’s still there, but it’s a little quieter. The drug problem is an ongoing problem in Tucumcari. Heroin and cocaine appear to be trying to make a comeback in the community.” Officers who participated in the drug arrests were Sgt. Patty Lopez, Sgt. Albert Baca, Cpl. Charlie Aguirre, Cpl. Jon Howard, and officers Jason Adams, Dennis Garcia, Rusty Shafer, Patricia Earle and Pedro Bolin. Officers who found the weapons cache were Lt. Charles Newman, Cpl. Darrick Shaw and officers Adams and Garcia.

To anonymously report illegal drug activity, call Crimestoppers at 461-3507 or Tucumcari Police at 461-2160.