Police seize drugs in traffic stop

By Andy Jackson: CNj staff writer

Police arrested a Clovis couple Friday during a traffic stop near Texico and seized more than 56 pounds of marijuana, according to a release from the Curry County Sheriff’s Office.

A Region V Drug Task Force Agent investigated Ricky Martinez, 40, of Clovis for six weeks through a confidential informant, according to the incident report.

The informant, who purchased drugs from the suspect, told the agent Martinez was picking up marijuana Friday in Texas, the report said.

Ricky and Sylvia Martinez, 36, were pulled over on U.S. 60/84 at the Texas-New Mexico state line for not wearing seat belts, according to the incident report.

Ricky Martinez gave police permission to search the passenger vehicle.

“You already got me, there’s grass in there,” Martinez said, according to the report.

A New Mexico State Police drug dog alerted officers to the trunk of the car, where police recovered a brown cardboard box containing shrink-wrapped bricks of marijuana with weights written on the back, according to the incident report. Another cardboard box with bricks of marijuana was located in the back seat of the car, and the bricks weighed between half a pound to four pounds each, the report said.

Sylvia Martinez told police she had crack cocaine, a crack pipe and cash in her purse, the report said. Police searched her purse and found several rocks of crack in a small container, a crack pipe and $724, the report said.

Ricky and Sylvia Martinez are charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, according to booking reports. Sylvia Martinez was also charged with possession of crack with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia, the report said.

Ricky and Sylvia Martinez were released Friday after posting bond for $5,000 and $11,000 respectively.

Sylvia Martinez said Tuesday she didn’t know marijuana was in the car when her husband was pulled over. In a telephone interview, she said she thought the box of marijuana in the back seat was a karaoke machine for her daughter’s birthday present.

Ricky Martinez declined comment.

Sylvia Martinez faces 3 1/2 years minimum jail time if convicted; and Ricky Martinez faces a minimum sentence of 1 1/2 years if found guilty, 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler said.