Home Law and Courts HPD: Couple found with more than 1,000 fentanyl pills

HPD: Couple found with more than 1,000 fentanyl pills

12 min read

Gabrielle Arsiaga/News-Sun

A Hobbs couple was arrested Sunday after police said they found them in possession of more than 1,000 fentanyl pills.

Miranda Milligan, 25, of Hobbs, was arrested on May 22 and charged with abuse of a child, a fourth-degree felony; and resisting evading or obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor.

Benjamin Verret, 23, of Hobbs, was arrested on May 22 and charged with trafficking a controlled substance, a second-degree felony; abuse of a child, a third-degree felony; failure to appear and resisting evading or obstructing an officer, both misdemeanors.

According to an HPD criminal complaint, around 8:56 a.m. Sunday, HPD officers were called to the 1600 block of North Dal Paso Street.

The reporting party, who was also an HPD Lieutenant, told dispatch there was an unresponsive female in the driver seat of a silver Mercedes. The female, identified as Jordan Oliver, had her foot on the acceleration pedal at the time of contact with police.

The HPD lieutenant also saw burnt tin foil on the passenger seat of the vehicle, and then Oliver began convulsing from an apparent overdose.

Police pounded on the window, but there was no response from Oliver.

After police gained entry into the vehicle, Oliver woke up and told officers the last time she used was the night before, and she just had a long night due to fighting with her boyfriend. Initially, Oliver only told officers she was asleep after a long night, but later changed her statement to ingesting fentanyl pills.

Upon police searching Oliver’s vehicle, officers found 67 blue pills with an “M” and “30” imprint consistent with fentanyl pills. Oliver also confirmed the pills to be fentanyl.

Oliver told officers she received the pills from Verret, from his residence located on the 1500 block of East Skelly Street.

“Oliver stated Benjamin had a “K pack” of fentanyl pills, which is an indication of approximately 1,000 pills. Jordan advised she was in the living room with Benjamin at the time of the transaction. Jordan stated Benjamin contained the pills within a large bag. Jordan said Benjamin placed the pills into a piece of tin-foil as a way to transport the pills,” the criminal complaint states.

HPD officers obtained a search warrant for the residence located on the 1500 block of East Skelly Street, and according to the report, Milligan refused to open the door. Police attempted to pry the door open, and Milligan eventually opened the door. When Milligan opened it, officers saw a small child without any clothes, shoes, and on a blanket.

Verret refused to listen to officers commands to surrender to them and continued to resist arrest, according to the report.

Verret was placed into handcuffs while police searched the home. Officers found a brown purse containing a plastic bag with 756 blue pills. The pills were imprinted “M” “30” on the sides, which matched the pills found on Oliver.

Police also found eight pieces of burnt tin foil on top of a trash can within reach of the child. A straw was on the ground next to the mattress and was burnt on one end. The straw was believed to be used to inhale narcotics.

“On the floor directly beside the bed … a piece of tin foil with burn marks was located. I observed the tin foil to have burn rigged lines and two blue pills visible at the end of the lines…The used paraphernalia and fentanyl pills were on the ground within a couple of feet of the black bag used to contain the child’s diapers and wipes,” the report stated.

Milligan told officers the child slept in a bedroom on the north side of the home where there was only an inflatable mattress. The mattress was deflated with no air pump present. Milligan also told officers the child was 1 year old, and the pills officers found were put into that bag by Verret when he heard officers at the door.

When police asked Milligan about the paraphernalia, Milligan told them it was Verret’s and he was addicted to fentanyl.

“Miranda advised Benjamin used the tin foil and straw to ingest Fentanyl because Benjamin was addicted to Fentanyl — which showed her knowledge of used paraphernalia being inside the residence,” the criminal complaint states. “Miranda stated she knew Benjamin had purchased 1,000 Fentanyl pills within the past couple of days.”

Verret told officers he knew there was 800 pills in the bag and threw them into the south closet floor.

He told police he purchased a “K pack” for $2,000 and had planned to use a small amount and sell the rest.

“Benjamin confirmed he was going to use a small amount of the Fentanyl pills and sell the rest of the pills for $10 a piece to pay off bills,” the criminal complaint states. “Benjamin stated he currently doesn’t have a job and reverted back to a way he knew to make money, which is through the selling of Fentanyl pills. Benjamin advised he has been selling illegal narcotics for several years up to this incident. Benjamin confirmed Miranda has been using Fentanyl pills but advised he has attempted to help slow Miranda’s usage down due to her being pregnant. Benjamin advised Miranda had overdosed at one point in the past and he felt Miranda’s fentanyl use had gotten out of hand. Benjamin stated the Fentanyl pills on the burnt tin foil were used by him.”

Milligan has no priors and is currently being held in the Lea County Detention Center on a $5,000 unsecured bond. She is scheduled to appear for a preliminary examination before Hobbs Magistrate Willie Henry on June 22.

Verret has a lengthy criminal history.

He was charged in March when a hotel manager called police after she smelt a chemical odor coming from a room which had two children in it, and saw Verret walking with a handgun in his waistband. When police searched Verret they found eight fentanyl pills on his person as well as a handgun. He was charged with receipt transportation or or possession of a firearm by a felon, a third-degree felony; possession of a controlled substance, a fourth-degree felony; and unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon, a misdemeanor. He is scheduled for a preliminary examination before Magistrate Clipper Miller on June 2.

In the trafficking case, Verret is currently being held in the Lea County Detention Center. A motion for pretrial detention has been filed and if approved, Verret will stay in custody until his trial date.

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