By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer
A Clovis Police Department operation that focused on gang members and repeat criminal offenders resulted in 40 arrests Friday and Saturday, according to a department press release.
The operation was part of a Clovis Safe Summer initiative.
“Physically taking 40 drug users and gang members off the streets in a 48-hour period is pretty gratifying,” said patrolman Waylon Rains, who was a part of the operation over the weekend.
Rains said the police department teamed up with the adult probation office to obtain a list of names of known gang members who were on probation or parole. They then went from house to house to check up on them, in what police call a “knock and talk.”
As a condition of probation and parole, probation officers have the right to search certain parts of the house without a warrant, according to state law, which resulted in several of the drug arrests.
Four subjects were arrested for distribution of methamphetamine and six were arrested for possession of the drug. One subject was arrested for possession of crack and one for possession of marijuana.
Officers also confiscated two handguns and one rifle, an AK-47, the press release said.
Also, numerous warrants for probation violations were executed during the weekend, the press release said.
“The administration was real happy with the outcome of the weekend’s activity,” said Sgt. James Schoeffel of the Clovis Police Department. “We made a lot of arrests, took drugs and guns off the streets. So all in all it was a successful operation and we are pleased with the outcome.”
Rains said they also found a number of assault rifle parts and barrels from AK-47s and AR-15s.
According to the incident report on one of the home visits, officers showed up at a residence in the 500 block of Wallace Street. While the officers were speaking with a female on probation, they noticed a male in the living room area putting something in a plastic box.
Officers confronted the male, who repeatedly refused to pull his hands from his pant pockets. The officer forcibly restrained the man, and after two minutes the officers were able to handcuff him. He had two glass pipes with methamphetamine residue in his right rear pocket, the report said.
The operation was funded through a grant from the New Mexico Gang Task Force, the press release said.
Police unveiled the Operation Clovis Safe Summer initiative in late May. It will last through Labor Day.
Funded by state and federal grants, the program will focus on alcohol-related traffic offenses, seat-belt related traffic offenses, violent crimes and gang-related crimes, police said.