Detention officer, wife facing felony drug charges

By Clarence Plank: Freedom New Mexico

PORTALES, N.M. (AP) — Roosevelt County Sheriff Darren Hooker says a county detention center officer was fired Friday after being accused of stealing prescription drugs from the jail to sell on the street.

Hooker said Larry Martinez, 36, and his wife, Jesseka Martinez, 35, are facing assorted felony drug charges.

Larry Martinez, 36, was arrested for stealing Xanax from the detention center and giving it to his wife.

“He was charged with trafficking a controlled substance… Xanax,” Deputy Nathan Kinnison said.

Detention Center Administrator David Casanova said he doesn’t know how Martinez was able to get access to the drugs because the thefts happened before he was hired to run the jail.

According to police:

• On New Years’ eve, sheriff’s officers and members of Region V Drug Task Force contacted Jesseka Martinez at her home in the 1700 block of Highway 236.

• Undercover agents had been purchasing marijuana from her since October as part of an undercover operation.

• During the investigation, Jesseka Martinez told officers her husband was a guard at the detention center and was stealing drugs from the center.

• “She allowed us to search the house,” Kinnison said. “We found marijuana, drug paraphernalia and prescription drugs in the house. So that is a misdemeanor and fourth degree felony.”

• During interrogation, Larry Martinez admitted stealing Xanax from the center and giving it to his wife, said Kinnison. He was charged with felony drug trafficking.

• Larry Martinez was behind bars at the center Friday in lieu of $20,000 cash-only bond. His wife was jailed in lieu of $7,000 cash-only bond.