FARMINGTON – The San Juan County Sheriff’s Department and the Farmington Police Department partnered in a multi-agency and federal operation to arrest 327 fugitives throughout northern and central New Mexico. Of those, Santa Fe and Farmington police departments made 92 arrests.
“Operation Triple Beam Albuquerque,” led by the U.S. Marshals Southwest Investigative Fugitive Team, included 19 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the San Juan County Sheriff’s Department and the Farmington Police Department, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s news release. The department said of those 327 arrests, 10 individuals were wanted for homicide, 20 for weapons charges, 13 for sex crimes, 50 for assault charges and 91 on narcotics charges.
The joint operation also resulted in the seizure of 43 illegal firearms, 50 pounds of methamphetamine, 4 pounds of heroin and 2 pounds of cocaine, according to the department’s release.
The Albuquerque-based operation, which ended Oct. 31, was applauded by U.S. Attorney General William Barr at a news conference Tuesday at the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office. “The key to Operation Triple Beam is that it is conducted in close cooperation with state and local law enforcement, who really are the backbone of the effort,” Barr’s prepared remarks said.
San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari and Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe both attended the news conference.
During his speech, Barr also said, “I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone here that New Mexico generally and Albuquerque specifically are experiencing a violent crime crisis.”
Locally, 123 felony warrants were served in San Juan County and its officers arrested three homicide suspects and a felony arson suspect, according to the Farmington Police Department.
Since it began in 2011, Operation Triple Beam has launched 33 collaborations with local, state, federal and tribal law enforcement agencies across the country, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The department also said the entire New Mexico program, including an earlier operation focused on the Las Cruces region in April, led to over 400 arrests, including 10 homicide suspects, 13 sex crime suspects and 91 narcotics suspects.