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Man arrested on meth trafficking charge

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A Dexter man was arrested Friday by Roswell police on a drug trafficking charge.

Flabio Herrera, 25, was taken into custody Friday at 11:15 p.m. while at a 400 block of Van Buren Street location, according to Roswell Police Department arrest records. An outstanding warrant had been issued for Herrera’s arrest on one count of trafficking controlled substances.

No additional details were available regarding Herrera’s Friday night arrest.

Bond for Herrera was set at $20,000 cash or surety during a first appearance in Chaves County Magistrate Court. As of Tuesday morning though, he was still listed as a Chaves County Detention Center inmate in the facility’s jail population report.

A preliminary hearing in the case to determine if it will be bound over to District Court for criminal trial is scheduled for July 28 in Magistrate Court, according to electronic court records.

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The criminal count against Herrera stems from an Oct. 26, 2019 traffic stop, in which police reportedly found large amounts of cash, illegal narcotics, drug paraphernalia and packaging materials.

Herrera was one of three people in a red Mercury SUV stopped by police on that date at 2:05 a.m. in the 800 block of West Mathews Street. Court documents state an officer had initiated the traffic stop after finding the license of the vehicle’s owner had been suspended.

At the time of the stop, the vehicle owner was in the front driver’s seat, Herrera in the front passenger seat and a third individual in the back seat, court documents state.

Herrera had disclosed his name to the officer, who asked him who he was. The officer then learned Herrera was wanted at the time on two outstanding warrants for failure to pay fines and failure to appear in court.

When the officer searched Herrera, $480 was allegedly found on his person while marijuana stems and residue were reportedly found on the front passenger-side floor board.

After officers unsuccessfully sought permission from the vehicle owner to search it, a search warrant was later obtained.

The warrant was subsequently executed Oct. 26 when police allegedly found a total of 40.63 grams of methamphetamine, two bags of marijuana, three smoking devices with residue and packaging material.

Methamphetamine found in the vehicle included two bags in the driver’s side door panel, one of which was found to weigh 1.2 grams, and a second one weighing 6.4 grams. Two additional bags — one 28.83 grams and a second, 4.2 grams — were found in a backpack within the vehicle.

Officers later received a search warrant for a cellphone with the name Flavio on the device also found in the vehicle. The device allegedly contained text messages from Oct. 26 pertaining to an alleged drug deal.

Photos of two receipts for money sent to Chihuahua, Mexico were in the phone: one for $600 in a message dated Oct. 25, 2019 and a second for $900 dated Oct. 26, 2019, according to court documents.

A photo of cash was also found in the phone that had been sent from another phone. Investigators learned the amount of money in the photo was $480, the same amount found on Herrera the night on which he was stopped by police.

According to court documents, that is consistent with the price of an ounce of methamphetamine at the time of the October traffic stop.

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