Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Taos County Raids Net 53.

Byline: Brendan Smith Journal Staff Writer

Suspected Cocaine Traffickers Targeted

QUESTA Dawn raids by more than 200 law-enforcement officers Wednesday targeted three suspected cocaine-trafficking rings in Taos County, with 53 people arrested on state or federal charges and 21 other suspects still at large.

"This (bust) will shake this community up," said Taos Police Chief Neil Curran. "Half of the crime we have committed is from cocaine and crack cocaine abuse. It's all connected."

The three drug rings distributed high-purity kilograms of cocaine in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, U.S. Attorney Norman Bay said about the yearlong investigation.

The U.S. Attorney's Office is seeking the forfeiture of five residences in Taos County and one in San Luis, Colo., claiming the homes were used as bases for cocaine trafficking. An undisclosed amount of cocaine was seized Wednesday morning from at least one residence in Taos County during the raids. …

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