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Man pleads not guilty to drug trafficking charge

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Jeremiah Romero (Submitted Photo)

A man who was allegedly found with marijuana and methamphetamine on him after he was arrested for disobeying the orders of a sheriff’s deputy has pleaded not guilty to two criminal counts.

Jeremiah Romero, 36, of Roswell, waived a reading of charges and pleaded not guilty to one count each of trafficking a controlled substance, by possession with intent to distribute; and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer, during an arraignment Monday in New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District Court in Chaves County, according to court documents.

Documents filed in Chaves County Magistrate Court state that deputies with the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office found two bags of methamphetamine and two sandwich bags of marijuana in the basketball shorts Romero was wearing when he was arrested June 21 on a charge of evading, resisting or obstructing an officer.

The two bags that tested positive for methamphetamine were found to have a combined weight of 31.38 grams. According to court documents, both bags of marijuana were found to have a combined total weight of 12.67 grams.

Romero encountered deputies June 21 shortly after 10:50 p.m. in the 200 block of McCune Street during a traffic stop.

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The stop was prompted by an incident that took place several moments before then when a male, later identified as Romero, allegedly drove by deputies in a 2016 Dodge Dart and yelled out something they could not understand while they were interacting with two individuals in the area of Grand Avenue and McCune Street, court documents state.

The two individuals deputies were speaking with then immediately told the deputies the driver had shot at them, court documents state.

After observing the Dodge Dart turn onto McCune, a traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle by deputies.

Romero, according to documents, was out of the vehicle during the encounter. He reportedly walked toward a nearby residence and away from deputies during the encounter, despite their instruction for him to walk closer toward them.

Court documents state he continued to refuse orders from deputies and continuously interrupted them. He was then placed under arrest for resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.

District Judge Jared Kallunki at Monday’s arraignment scheduled Romero’s jury trial in the case for April 27, 2021.

As of Wednesday, Romero was being held at the Chaves County Detention Center, according to a jail population summary report of inmates housed at the facility.

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