Federal and state authorities arrested six members and associates of the “Cruces Boys” gang Tuesday morning on federal drug trafficking charges and seized 25 firearms.
The arrest was announced by United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr.; Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Albuquerque Division; Special Agent in Charge Will Glaspy, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, El Paso Division; and, Las Cruces Police Chief Jaime Montoya.
Arrests include: 29-year-old Joshua Randall Garcia (aka ”Flu,” “Flu Diggs”); 35-year-old Rahiem Harris; 23-year-old Estevan Carreon; 29-year-old Olajuwan Calhoun; 29-year-old Nate Nordorf and 21-year-old Jalen Bishop. Authorities arrested Carreon in Farmington and the others in Las Cruces. All of the defendants remain in custody pending initial appearances expected to occur in federal court tomorrow.
Federal criminal complaints—unsealed today—charge the defendants with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. According to court records, the defendants, led by Joshua Garcia, allegedly distributed cocaine and “crack” cocaine throughout the Las Cruces area from July 2016 until last month.
Garcia, whose charge involves more than 500 grams of cocaine, faces between five and 40 years in federal prison upon conviction. The other defendants, each charged for less than 500 grams of cocaine, face up to 20 years in federal prison upon conviction.
“An operation this large and complex required the coordination of many agencies. I am proud of how well this team of federal, state and local law enforcement professionals worked together to make our community safer,” SAC Wade said.
“Our communities deserve to exist without fear and intimidation inflicted by drug gangs,” SAC Glaspy said. “Today’s enforcement operation represents our continued commitment to the citizens of Las Cruces for law enforcement at the federal, state and local levels to work together to keep our neighborhoods safe.”
These federal and state charges resulted from an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Las Cruces Police Department’s Gang Unit, New Mexico State Police, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The Metro Narcotics Unit, Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Unit, and the New Mexico Army National Guard assisted in this investigation.
The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering operations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.