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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Albuquerque Police, DEA Seize Guns, Drugs In Operation

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

Authorities seized large quantities of fentanyl, methamphetamine and guns on Tuesday after busting an Albuquerque-based drug ring with alleged ties to a Mexican cartel.

Gary Merino-Ramirez, 35, Reynaldo Vargas, 45, Ashley Lucas, 30, and Oscar Barrera-Maytorena, who is 26 or 27, have all been charged federally with drug and/or gun charges.

It is unclear if the three men have an attorney and an attorney for Lucas declined to comment.

Gilbert Gallegos, an Albuquerque police spokesman, said in all officers and DEA agents found 15 guns, two of them stolen, 45,000 fentanyl pills, $45,000 in cash and one pound of meth in connection with the operation.

Gallegos said Lucas and her boyfriend Barrera-Maytorena are believed to run drugs from Arizona to New Mexico and Barrera-Maytorena, a Mexican national, has potential ties to the Sinaloa Cartel.

The reported cartel ties are not documented in federal court records but Lucas allegedly told authorities the couple brought fentanyl from Phoenix to Albuquerque to sell.

“Today’s bust is the result of many hours of investigation and partnerships between APD’s narcotics detectives and our partners from the DEA, …” Albuquerque police Chief Harold Medina said in a statement. “… This was an amazing team effort that helps us keep the pressure on the criminals who are driving drug trafficking and gun violence in the Metro area.”

On May 3 Merino-Ramirez, also known as “Demon,” sold $400 in fentanyl and meth to an undercover DEA agent, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court. Gallegos said, in all, undercover detectives bought over 2,000 fentanyl pills from Merino-Ramirez before he introduced them to Vargas.

Gallegos said Vargas, also known as “Gumby,” was “described as a main person who runs the Albuquerque drug trade” and a member of the prison gang “Los Carnales.”

On May 12 Vargas, who went by “Gumby,” sold an undercover DEA agent over $5,000 worth of fentanyl and meth, according to a second criminal complaint.

Gallegos said Vargas sold drugs and a gun to undercover detectives over several meetings. He said officers moved in on Tuesday to arrest Merino-Ramirez and Vargas and searched both of their homes — finding more than a dozen guns, a handgun silencer and large amounts of fentanyl, cash and meth.

After those arrests DEA agents learned Lucas and Barrera-Maytorena were in possession of a large amount of drugs, according to a third criminal complaint. Agents allegedly found the couple in a vehicle — with 20,000 fentanyl pills and a stolen gun — near a Walmart in Northeast Albuquerque.

Agents said Lucas told them she and Barrera-Maytorena brought the drugs from Phoenix to sell and used the firearm “for protection.” Barrera-Maytorena allegedly told agents he went to the drug deal with Lucas “for her protection.”

Albuquerque Journal


  1. No surprise here, Albuquerque has always been a complete dump.

    1. It's a Dessert, what do you expect.

    2. The desert can be beautiful. Stark and harsh, but gorgeous...Arizona is almost all desert and most people who know anything will tell you that it is top ten in over all pretty states. Albuquerque is like Sacramento...rushed to prominence due to necessity on the whim of moonshine fueled cretins and cutthroat opportunists. Santa Fe is in NM....the Pink Adobe is great for a steak. Art, culture, Navajos galore. Your point is unfounded Lyle. Stand down.

    3. You stand down, it's infested with gangbangers and crime. Santa Fe is nice and it's nicer further north but Albuquerque? Please. And don't tell me about Arizona, I live here.

    4. The Pink Adobe, if Google is to be believed, is located in a 350 year old adobe building..
      Now THATS history..!

  2. Don't these dummies know that once you make several good transactions it's too good to be true.

  3. good more inbred booger eating filth off of the streets of the beautiful SW. Worthless filth ! Keep up the good work boys !

  4. Least the us is actually doing there jobs for once instead of parade on the news and try to save people.

  5. I see they got Skinny Pete there on the right... LMFAO

  6. I spent 3 months in Farmington NM for work. It is the biggest dump I have ever seen. Trailer homes with tires on the roof so they don't fly off during storms. Inhabitants are rednecks and drunken Navajos. There are more cops then civilians and they generate income for the city by writing BS tickets.The scenery is depressing AF. When it rains or snows the streets become giant mud puddles. It is white trash/hillbilly central. Extreme racism towards Hispanics, Navajos, and the 2-3 African Americans who are dumb enough to be there. I honestly cannot say one positive thing about Farmington, Bloomfield, or Aztec except at least you can drive to the beautiful mountain town of Durango Colorado inside an hour


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