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Dope house down: Narcotics task force arrest four in Gamerco

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The Region One Narcotics Task Force, utilizing five police officers from the Gallup Police Department, and one agent from the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office swept through a residence at 907 Cascade on Sept. 28, and arrested four people involved in the drug trade.

The operation is the end result of a month-long investigation.

The Sheriff’s Office in particular is very concerned about the increase in drug use in the county.

As Undersheriff Paul Lucero said, “Tell everyone that if they are going to deal drugs in McKinley County, we’ll be knocking on their door.”

Arrested in the raid today was Vernon Lasiloo with a state warrant in his name, and three family members who face more serious charges.

Nanette Howe, 45, and Steve Howe, 51, were booked into McKinley County Adult Detention Center on similar charges: one count of possession of illegal substances (heroin), one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, and three counts each of child abuse.

The last charge stems from three minor children found in the same room as three loaded (with heroin) syringes.

The children are ages 11, five, and four. The three youngsters were also rescued from a house with hundreds, if not thousands of cockroaches, no running water, and many other unsanitary problems.

A fourth arrest is also the offspring of Nanette and Steve, 27-year-old Andrew, who was reportedly mouthy in the presence of law enforcement officers.

When Agent Anthony Morales was explaining to Steve Howe about CYFD coming to pick up the younger children, Andrew allegedly threatened the officers with physical violence, resulting in charges of assault on a peace officer and disorderly conduct.

The house at this address has been a continuing source of complaints and concern for law enforcement. It was raided four times in the last two and a half years, which finally yielded an eviction to the renter Sally Lovato, and a plea agreement that got her 18 months of free rent in jail.

Another dope house down, at least temporarily.

By Tom Hartsock

Sun Correspondent