Home Law and Courts 5,500 fentanyl pills lands Hobbs man in jail

5,500 fentanyl pills lands Hobbs man in jail

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5,500 fentanyl pills lands Hobbs man in jail

News-Sun Staff Report

A Hobbs man is behind bars after a tip led Lea County Drug Task Force agents to investigate him for trafficking Fentanyl pills into Hobbs from Albuquerque.

On Feb. 7, task force agents were reportedly informed by a confidential informant that Hobbs resident Poetry Royal, 53, was transporting thousands of fentanyl pills from Albuquerque using a rental vehicle. The confidential informant alleged Royal was “bringing the Narcotics into Hobbs and supplying several individuals in the area,” and Royal had already made several trips to Albuquerque in rental vehicles to purchase “thousands of Fentanyl pills.”

On Feb. 10, task force agents requested assistance from the Lea County Sheriff’s Office in locating Royal, who was reportedly believed to be driving a black Toyota Rav4. The vehicle was located on Highway 18 Mile Maker 67 just south of Lovington, and deputies identified Royal as the driver along with two passengers.

The deputies conducted a traffic stop and detained the vehicle until an “open-air sniff” was conducted by a narcotics K9. The dog alerted that there were narcotics in the vehicle and it was secured pending issuance of a search warrant, according to the report.

Interviews were reportedly attempted with all occupants of the vehicle, however they refused to speak with deputies. Royal was told the vehicle would be towed pending a search warrant, and the occupants of the vehicle were released and given “courtesy rides.”

On Feb. 12, a search warrant was signed by District Judge Mark Sanchez and a search was conducted on the black Toyota Rav4. A purple Crown Royal bag with 10 clear baggies, each containing blue pills suspected of being Fentanyl with an approximate gross weight of 540 grams was found inside the vehicle. The value of the 5,500 fentanyl pills was estimated at around $55,000.

An arrest warrant was issue for Royal and on April 12 task force agents executed a residential search of Royal’s residence. The search resulted in the seizure of four firearms (one of the firearms was identified as stolen), around 700 additional blue pills suspected to be fentanyl, over a pound of a white, powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine and 10 grams of solid, rock-like pieces that tested positive for cocaine. The estimated value of the narcotics seized was $24,000.

Royal was charged with trafficking a controlled substance with the intent to distribute (second offense), a first-degree felony.

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