Charges were filed Wednesday against the five suspects who were arrested in mid-May in connection with a Cortez drug trafficking investigation.
Rommel Aviles-Reyes, Zekiel Biard, Jessie Valenzuela and Lyndel and Sherri Clark were all charged with drug-related felonies.
Aviles-Reyes, Biard and Valenzuela have preliminary hearings scheduled for June. The Clarks will appear in court June 6 to demand preliminary hearings.
The five were arrested the week of May 13 after a monthslong investigation by local law enforcement and the Southwest Drug Task Force.
The Clarks and Biard are suspected of selling large amounts of meth and heroin in the Four Corners area, and California residents Valenzuela and Aviles-Reyes are suspected of delivering the drugs. Their court appearances, originally scheduled for May 23, were delayed until Wednesday after District Attorney Will Furse said he was still awaiting law enforcement reports. All their bonds were reduced, but Biard is the only one to bond out of custody so far.
Aviles-Reyes and Valenzuela were both charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, a Class 1 felony. Aviles-Reyes’ preliminary hearing was set for June 13 at 2:30 p.m. in Montezuma County Court. Valenzuela’s hearing was set for June 27 at 2:30 p.m.
Biard was charged with two counts of distributing a controlled substance, a Class 3 felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Montezuma County Judge JenniLynn Lawrence ruled he was not eligible for a preliminary hearing, so his case will be continued in the 22nd Judicial District Court, starting with an arraignment on June 6 at 8:30 a.m.
Lyndel and Sherri Clark were each charged with two counts of distributing a controlled substance. They will appear in court June 6 for a preliminary hearing demand.
Aviles-Reyes, Biard and Valenzuela are all being charged as special offenders, a condition that could lengthen their sentences if they were convicted. For Aviles-Reyes and Valenzuela, the special offender charges are importation of drugs and illegal possession of a firearm. The two were pulled over May 13 in a vehicle that reportedly contained two handguns, one of which was stolen, and a package of crystal meth.
Biard’s special offender charge is conspiring to manufacture or distribute drugs. A law enforcement search of his house, the Clarks’ house and Valenzuela’s vehicle reportedly uncovered 1.9 pounds of heroin, more than a kilogram of meth and 15 guns.