High speed chase ends in Clovis

by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

Another cache of marijuana was seized Thursday in Quay County in the midst of a police chase where the suspect, at times, drove at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour, law enforcement officials said.

This was the second seizure of pot in Quay County by authorities in last five days. The total street value of the busts is nearly $1 million.

On Sunday, Tucumcari Police confiscated 559 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $894,400.

The most recent seizure on Thursday, 125 pounds, was valued at $91,000, said Quay County Sheriff Joe Schallert.
The chase was prompted when the suspect’s car, a 2007 Chrysler sport utility vehicle, failed to use a proper signal while traveling on Interstate 40. Cpl. Mark Dahlsten of the Quay County Sheriff’s Office turned on his flashing lights to pull the car over, Schallert said.

The vehicle pulled over and then sped up going off the interstate at San Jon and onto Highway 469, said Dahlsten.
Another car, typically called a decoy, then drove in front of Dahlsten’s police cruiser to delay the chase, Dahlsten said.
The vehicle then sped toward Clovis at speeds topping 100 mph on Highway 469, Dahlsten said.

When the vehicle reached the border of Quay and Curry counties, the driver pulled over briefly at the site of the former county line bar known as Ed’s Bar on the Quay side, Schallert said.

At that spot, bricks of marijuana and an assault rifle were discovered in a thicket of tumbleweed, Schallert said.
The suspect, who left a silver Mercedes on the side of the road in Clovis, was apprehended on foot in the area near the Wal-Mart shopping center, Schallert said.

Police estimated the pursuit followed a 60-mile path.

Arrested were:
• Aaron Thomas Perry, 37, of College Park, Ga., on drug and traffic charges. He is being held at the Curry County Adult Detention Center on a $255,000 bond, according to jail officials.
• Benjie Moore of Arizona and Senait McKinney of Georgia, who were in the second car, for interfering with a police officer and conspiracy to traffic controlled substances. Both were being held at the Quay County Detention Center, according to a Quay County Sheriff’s Office press release.

The New Mexico State Police, San Jon Police Department, Curry County Sheriff’s Office and Clovis Police Department were all involved in the suspects capture, said Schallert.