Chaves County deputies made 14 arrests Saturday night, part of an ongoing effort to keep wanted criminals with outstanding warrants off the streets.
The operation that included arrests at seven separate locations for both outstanding warrants and new charges, were made as part of what Chaves County Sheriff Mike Herrington calls a Violent Offender Apprehension Team.
Saturday’s operation was the third such one carried out by the team, Herrington said.
One of the two previous operations included the arrest of Jose Miguel Ruiz, 27 of Artesia, wanted on an outstanding warrant in connection with a murder.
The team is headed by Chief Deputy Charles Yslas, and has seven other deputies total, with four typically going out with Yslas on an operation to apprehend people on outstanding warrants.
Yslas said the team was put together by Herrington as a way to cut down on the county’s backlog of 4,885 warrants against individuals.
“He put together the task force to try and start whittling that down and focus basically on the felony warrants, and in particular, the violent felony warrants,” Yslas said.
Rather than getting one warrant and serving one individual, Yslas said he and other deputies have a list of about 30 warrants to serve and then go to target areas where those people might be located.
Herrington said the team goes out at different times throughout the week and does not stay at one targeted area too long as a way to avoid setting a pattern that criminal suspects can predict.
He added the team is now looking to execute warrants on individuals who face charges ranging from possession of a controlled substance, armed robbery, aggravated assault on a peace officer and aggravated stalking.
When the team goes to a location to execute a warrant, they often come away with other people who are wanted on felony and misdemeanor warrants.
Sometimes, individuals at the scene are found with illegal drugs or guns and can then face additional charges, Herrington said.
“Oftentimes, when we hit a location because of the associates these individuals are hanging around with, we will often identify those individuals, and oftentimes come across additional warrants,” he said.
Yslas said sometimes individuals are not home or at the location where they are thought to be, but they will make contact with someone in an alley who is also wanted on a warrant.
Individuals arrested Saturday were: Joel Vargas of Roswell on a failure to comply warrant in Lincoln County; Jade Frazier of Ruidoso who had been wanted in Lincoln County on two separate warrants for failure to appear — one for careless driving and another for driving without a license.
Daniel Garcia of Roswell, for failure to appear in court as ordered; Joshua Cedillio on warrants for two counts of forgery, resisting and evading an officer, obstructing an officer and failure to comply; Richard Alizzi on new charges of trafficking controlled substance; possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Misty Ontiveros was arrested on warrants for larceny over $2,500; unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and three charges of credit card theft. Yslas said Ontiveros also faces a new charge of concealing her identity when she was arrested; Brittney Cannon on warrants for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia; and Billy Quiroz was arrested for driving on an arrest clause.
Two other individuals were arrested who are the subject of a current or ongoing investigation and therefore their information cannot be released, Yslas said.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.