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Woman pleads not guilty to drug trafficking charges

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A woman suspected of trafficking methamphetamine has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges filed against her.

Timothy Wyatt, deputy district attorney in New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District, confirmed that 58-year-old Ramona Lopez of Roswell entered a formal plea of not guilty on Monday to charges of trafficking controlled substances, possession with intent to distribute, narcotic or meth; and conspiracy to commit trafficking, possession with intent to distribute, narcotic or meth.

Court records state that Lopez and Joel Camacho, 35, of Roswell, each face charges in the case in which New Mexico State Police allegedly discovered 67.1 grams of methamphetamine inside a 2009 car registered to Lopez and which she was reportedly driving at the time of the incident.

A test later conducted on the substance found the methamphetamine to be 97% pure, according to court documents.

Wyatt said Tuesday that a jury trial for Lopez is scheduled for February.

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State Police encountered Lopez and Camacho Dec. 13, 2018, at a 500 block of North Albuquerque Street residence while assisting the New Mexico Probation and Parole Department in the search for a man wanted on an arrest warrant

According to court documents, Lopez’s vehicle was observed trying to back out of the driveway of the residence while State Police were closing in on the house.

Camacho was then seen walking away and heading around the corner to the back of the residence, where an agent later reportedly witnessed him take a clear baggie with a white crystalline substance out of his overalls and place it in a shoe.

When officers approached the car, officers encountered Lopez in the driver’s seat and a bag of a substance, that according to court documents resembled methamphetamine, between the driver door and driver seat, court records state.

The vehicle was later towed and searched, which is when the 67.1 grams of methamphetamine was reportedly found in the driver’s side door panel. Three clear empty baggies also were found in the middle of the car’s console.

Arrest warrants were issued for Lopez and Camacho in July. Electronic court records state that Lopez was served with the warrant on Aug. 2.

Camacho was served Aug. 12 with an arrest warrant on criminal charges related to the case. He faces one count each of trafficking controlled substances, possession with intent to distribute, narcotic or meth; conspiracy to commit trafficking, possession with intent to distribute, narcotic or meth; and tampering with evidence.

Both Lopez and Camacho are out on their own recognizance while awaiting trial, according to electronic court records.

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

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