A man was arrested on several criminal charges Wednesday night after he allegedly led New Mexico State Police and other law enforcement on a high-speed chase in a stolen pickup truck.
Guiyermo Juarez, 22, of Roswell, faces one count each of aggravated fleeing of a law enforcement officer, reckless driving, driving while under the influence of drugs, possession of a controlled substance and failure to have operating tail lights, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday in Chaves County Magistrate Court.
Following his first appearance in Magistrate Court on the charges, bail for Juarez was set Thursday at $1,000 cash or surety bond.
The complaint states the incident began Wednesday at 11:30 p.m. at the intersection of North Garden Avenue and Country Club Road, when a New Mexico State Police officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a 2012 white Ford pickup that did not have any tail lights.
Juarez, later identified as the driver of the stolen pickup, allegedly did not comply.
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Juarez then made a left turn onto Garden Avenue, followed by a right turn heading west onto 24th Street. The pickup continued to Texas Street heading south bound, according to the complaint, and allegedly ran a stop sign at Texas and 23rd streets.
The pickup gained speed as it proceeded west on 23rd Street, and allegedly ran a stop sign at the intersection of Main and 23rd streets. Dispatch was then advised the pickup was not stopping and the officer began a pursuit.
Proceeding north on Main Street, the pickup allegedly ran a red light as a passenger vehicle crossed Main Street on Country Club, the complaint states.
Units from multiple law enforcement agencies joined the pursuit of the pickup with lights and sirens activated. The pickup passed several motorists and swerved from lane to lane while attempting to evade law enforcement.
At one point in the chase, the pickup veered off the road and onto the north dirt shoulder on U.S. 285, according to the complaint. It was later learned that the pickup had been reported stolen.
The pursuit continued, leaving city limits and reaching mile marker 162 with the pickup beginning to slow down before an abrupt left turn across southbound U.S. 285 onto Yeso Road. The pickup then made a right-hand turn into the field, where it came to a stop, the complaint states.
With his weapon drawn, the State Police officer instructed the driver — later identified as Juarez — to exit the pickup. He did not follow commands. The officer attempted to open the passenger door on the pickup, but it was locked.
Chaves County Sheriff’s deputies soon arrived on the scene, coming to the driver’s side of the pickup and taking Juarez into custody without further incident.
Juarez allegedly appeared to be very drowsy when he was taken into custody. When asked what he was on, Juarez allegedly admitted to the State Police officer that he was on methamphetamine.
Later, when he was taken to the New Mexico State Police office, Juarez was asked if he had anything on his person, and he allegedly told the arresting officer that he had a ball of methamphetamine in his underwear.
According to the complaint, Juarez then removed the substance — which was in some folded papers — from his underwear at the request of the arresting officer. A small crystalline ball allegedly later tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine.
The complaint states that Juarez was asked how he came in possession of the pickup. He allegedly answered that he got it from a friend — whom he only knows by first name — told him to go get the truck for him at a dairy off Seminole Road, and had provided him with the keys to do so.
He then allegedly said he went to the Mesa Street location, but the person — known only by first name — was not there, the complaint states.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.