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Eight arrested after multi-agency operation


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Eight people have been arrested on state or federal charges or both following a Wednesday law enforcement action that targeted violent crime in the Carlsbad area.

The arrests were part of a multi-agency law enforcement effort, according to a news release issued Thursday night by Eddy County Sheriff Mark A. Cage.

The news release indicated that seven state warrant arrests and one federal warrant arrest were made, while two people were charged with multiple felony counts. Three face federal criminal charges involving firearms and narcotics.

The people arrested were identified as Manuel Montoya, 41; Sam Chavez, 34; Daniella Samaniego, 28; Freddie Trevino, 20; Jorge Torres, 34; Lupe Contreras, 43; Ronnie Wabbington, 22; and Timothy Ziegler, 41.

Law enforcement officers seized two firearms, 20 grams of fentanyl, 93 grams of methamphetamine and 11 grams of heroin, the Sheriff’s Office indicated. The impact operation team also issued 22 citations after conducting 25 traffic stops.

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Besides the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office, the law enforcement groups involved in the operation were the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the United States Marshals Service (USMS); the Pecos Valley Drug Taskforce (PVDTF); the New Mexico State Police; the Carlsbad Police Department; New Mexico probation and parole officers; and the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

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