A law enforcement crackdown in New Mexico on Aug. 29 resulted in 22 arrests, according to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office. Most of the individuals taken into custody had outstanding warrants and face felony charges. Deputies from the BCSO’s Gang Recognition and Intelligence Patrol were assisted during the operation by investigators from the Department of Homeland Security and deputies from the U.S. Marshals Service.
Stolen car and illegal drugs
Many of the arrests were made following traffic stops in Albuquerque’s International District. Photographs of one of these traffic stops posted online depicted what appeared to be marijuana, cash and handguns placed on a car’s hood. The BCSO says that a stolen car, two stolen firearms and an undisclosed quantity of illegal drugs were recovered during the operation. The suspects arrested have been charged with crimes including drug possession, vehicle theft, resisting arrest, eluding law enforcement and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The crackdown was part of a law enforcement initiative dubbed Operation Legend, which was launched by the Department of Justice on July 8. The initiative was named after a 4-year-old boy who was shot and killed in Kansas City on June 29. Local leaders in some parts of the country have criticized Operation Legend and what they see as the overzealous behavior of federal agents. According to media reports, at least 25 federal agents have been sent to Albuquerque to assist the BCSO.
Warrant crackdowns and drug sweeps
Police often make numerous arrests during warrant crackdowns and drug sweeps, but charges are often dropped later due to a lack of evidence. This is why experienced criminal law attorneys may advise individuals taken into custody during these operations to remain silent and request a lawyer. After studying police reports and weighing the evidence collected by law enforcement, defense attorneys could seek to have charges dismissed, enter into plea negotiations or prepare to argue the facts in court.