Tire tracks from a stolen four-wheeler led sheriff’s deputies to a house where they found what they believe were products used to manufacture methamphetamine.
Deputies were dispatched to the Meadow Lake area at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, in reference to a stolen four-wheeler. They made contact with the victim, who said someone had stolen the four-wheeler from his son.
“The man’s son had been out driving the all-terrain vehicle when some individuals came up to him and asked to borrow it to get out a car stuck in the mud,” said Valencia County Sheriff’s Detective Rene Rivera. “He agreed, just trying to help out, but they (the suspects) never returned.”
Rivera said the deputies looked for the four-wheeler, with the assistance of the victim, and followed the tracks to a house at 39 Holiday Drive. After making contact with the owner of the property, the deputies were given permission to search for the four-wheeler.
“During the search of the property, the deputies came across a possible meth lab,” Rivera said. “That’s when I responded to the scene. When I arrived at the house, I asked the female resident if she had any knowledge of a meth lab, and she said no.”
Rivera said the female gave him consent to search the property. He said that, when he walked around the side of the house, he noticed a strong chemical odor coming from a camping trailer.
“The windows were all sealed with papers and other objects,” he said. “It looked to me like they were trying to keep people from looking in the trailer.”
Rivera said that, when he opened the door to the trailer, he saw glassware and chemicals that he believes were ingredients commonly used in manufacturing methamphetamine. The detective said he also found an electrical cord from the main residence to the trailer.
“I went back to the house and advised the lady of our findings and, again, she said she had no knowledge of what was going on,” he said. “She gave me consent to search the residence, where we found other chemicals and drug paraphernalia. We also found a small amount of finished product, which tested positive for meth.”
Upon further investigation, Rivera said, he found the four-wheeler that had been reported stolen, behind the house, covered with a tarp.
Three people at the house were arrested, Rivera said. A 45-year-old Meadow Lake man was charged with receiving or transferring a stolen motor vehicle and trafficking a controlled substance by manufacture.
Two Los Lunas men were arrested on outstanding warrants.
Clara Garcia is the editor and publisher of the Valencia County News-Bulletin.
She is a native of the city of Belen, beginning her journalism career at the News-Bulletin in 1998 as the crime and courts reporter. During her time at the paper, Clara has won numerous awards for her writing, photography and typography and design both from the National Newspaper Association and the New Mexico Press Association.