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Shoulder driving double bust

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Drugs, weapon found in car

Two people were caught with a large amount of fentanyl pills and meth, along with a pistol.

On Nov. 21, around 8:15 am, McKinley County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Salazar stopped a blue Nissan Altima when he saw the driver driving on the shoulder of U.S. Highway 491. The driver, Jamie Estrada, 22, pulled into the parking lot of David’s Restaurant, 1377 U.S. Hwy. 491.

According to his report, Salazar noticed that Estrada’s eyes were droopy and bloodshot, and that his pupils were dilated. He was also saying back and forth.

Salazar also checked on the vehicle’s passenger, who was identified as Vanessa Chavez. When Salazar gave her name to Metro Dispatch, he learned that Chavez, 36, had a warrant out for her arrest. He detained her and found out that she had fentanyl pills on her. He also found a scale and more pills in her purse.

Estrada allegedly had a large amount of money on him.

Once he obtained a search warrant for the vehicle, Salazar found drug paraphernalia. He also found a black box that was locked, and it had some shiny packaging coming out of the edge of it.

Salazar contacted Curley Locksmith to help unlock the box, and once it was unlocked, he found a pistol, over 150 grams of fentanyl, and 17.5 grams of meth inside it.

Chavez was charged with possession of a controlled substance and her active warrant. Estrada was charged with a DWI, two counts of trafficking a controlled substance, negligent use of a deadly weapon, driving with a suspended license, no proof of insurance, and improper display of a registration plate.

Estrada’s preliminary examination is scheduled for Dec. 14. Chavez’s court date had not been set by press time.

Staff Reports