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Man arrested after meth allegedly hidden in pants

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A man was arrested Friday during an early morning traffic stop in Roswell after a plastic bag containing nearly 20 grams of methamphetamine fell out of his pants during a traffic stop.

Santiago Herrera, 41, of Roswell, faces one count each of possession of a controlled substance and possession/delivery or manufacture of drug paraphernalia following a 3:25 a.m. traffic stop on West 16th Street, according to documents filed Friday in Chaves County Magistrate Court.

In addition to the ziplock bag allegedly containing 19.5 grams of methamphetamine that fell out of Herrera’s pants, a glass pipe commonly used for smoking methamphetamine and another bag containing 4.9 grams of the drug were also allegedly found in the vehicle Herrera was pulled over in.

Bond was set Friday for Herrera at $5,000 cash or surety during a first appearance in Magistrate Court, documents state.

According to a Chaves County Detention Center jail population summary report, as of Monday morning Herrera was still listed as an inmate.

An officer pulled over the gold Honda SUV, in which Herrera was a passenger and a female was driving, after conducting a registration inquiry. The inquiry determined the vehicle’s registration expired in March.

Before the officer initiated the stop it looked like the vehicle was pulling over in front of a residence. The officer asked the driver why she was pulling over in front of the residence.

Herrera answered for her, telling the officer that she was just nervous at the time, according to court documents.

The female driver when the stop was initiated was found to not have a valid driver’s license and failed to provide proof of insurance.

Court documents state the officer was writing the driver citations when he learned that she had prior charges involving controlled substances. He then radioed in a request that a K-9 officer with the Roswell Police Department come to the scene.

The driver and Herrera were then asked to exit the vehicle so the K-9 could do an exterior sniff of it. Herrera then allegedly grabbed his shorts when he exited the vehicle.

A glass pipe with burnt white residue on it was allegedly discovered by the K-9 officer on the passenger seat where Herrera had been seated. The K-9 officer also believed Herrera was hiding something in his pants.

When confronted by police, who said they saw the pipe on the seat where Herrera was sitting, he told the officer, “that is a misdemeanor charge.”

After Herrera consented to a search of his person, the officer moved his hand up Herrera’s leg near the crotch area, where he felt hard plastic in Herrera’s shorts.

The officer asked if Herrera had shoved something in his crotch.

“Why would I do that,” he asked? The officer answered that he would do that to hide something.

Herrera, at the request of the officer, then shook his waist and while the officer pulled on the underwear around Herrera’s thighs, a ziplock bag with a large amount of methamphetamine fell out, according to court documents.

The second bag containing a white crystalline substance later identified as methamphetamine was found inside the vehicle on the floorboard where Herrera’s feet were before he was asked to exit the vehicle.

Herrera was taken into custody and when later questioned admitted that he smokes meth and that the the bag found in the vehicle belonged to him, according to court documents.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext, 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.