Major meth bust nets arrests
FARMINGTON — More than $100,000 of methamphetamine was removed from the streets and six individuals are in custody after a combined effort of law enforcement agencies took down a multi-jurisdictional drug ring.
A dog was killed when police needed to rescue one of the fleeing suspects in a residential area.
Police seized an Uzi, AK-47 submachine gun, a .357-caliber Magnum, a 9 mm pistol, a police scanner and extensive ammunition, FBI Special Agent Darrin Jones said.
Jeremiah Wright, of Aztec, and Youlandah Marshall, of Fruitland, were arrested along with four other individuals Wednesday and will face a variety of federal and state drug trafficking and weapons charges, Jones said.
Police believe Wright and Marshall were among the most active methamphetamine distributors in the region, trafficking approximately 10 pounds or more of the drug each week.
The methamphetamine was high quality and carried a street value of more than $100,000, Jones said.
Wright, 22, has an extensive criminal history and was a federal fugitive.
In June 2008, he was sentenced to probation for 18 months and ordered to complete drug court, Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said.
Wright was shirtless and shoeless when he attempted to flee officers. He jumped the fence of a nearby residence and was attacked by two German Shepherd guard dogs, Jones said.
The pursuing officer was forced to protect the suspect and one of the dogs was fatally wounded.
"That's ahorrible situation and an officer has to make a split-second decision," Region II Narcotics Task Force Director Neil Haws said.
No age was available for Marshall.
Another suspect attempted to flee in a vehicle but was apprehended without incident a short time later.
Police are withholding the names of four of the suspects as they continue to investigate, Jones said.
Officials from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency, Four Corners Streets Violent Gangs Task Force, Region II Narcotics Task Force, Navajo Department of Public Safety, San Juan County Sheriff's Office and the Farmington Police Department worked together to make the arrests.
The FBI SWAT team from Albuquerque assisted in the operation because, given the known possession of weapons, criminal history of the individuals and the security surveillance, it was considered a high risk search warrant.
By Elizabeth Piazza The Daily Times
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