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Man arrested on drug charges following PVDTF pursuit

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The Pecos Valley Drug Task Force (PVDTF) announced Thursday that an arrest was made last month on drug trafficking charges following a pursuit that ended on U.S. 285.

The PVDTF release states that, on Jan. 18, agents initiated a traffic stop on 28-year-old Juan Roberto Montez just north of Artesia. Montez had outstanding warrants and was suspected of possessing trafficking amounts of narcotics at the time of the stop, and he subsequently fled.

Agents were able to use spike strips to disable Montez’s vehicle and end the pursuit on U.S. 285 near Artesia. Upon being taken into custody, however, Montez informed agents that he had swallowed “unknown pills” and felt ill. He was immediately transported to the Artesia General Hospital emergency room, where life-saving measures were taken by AGH staff.

Following his release from AGH, Montez was taken to the Eddy County Detention Center.

During a search of his vehicle, agents located “thousands” of fentanyl pills, both in a container and thrown about the vehicle. Also found were six firearms, some loaded and some reported as stolen, and a container of methamphetamine.

In addition to his outstanding warrants, Montez was charged with fentanyl trafficking and possession of a firearm by a felon. According to Roswell District Court records, Montez pleaded no contest to 2022 warrant charges of shoplifting (over $250 but not more than $500) and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer, with charges of conspiracy to commit shoplifting (over $500 but not more than $2,500) and tampering with evidence dismissed by the prosecutor per the plea agreement. He has also pleaded not guilty to 2023 warrant charges of attempt to commit fraud (over $500 but not more than $2,500).

Montez is scheduled to appear Tuesday in Carlsbad Magistrate Court for a pre-trial hearing on the fraud charge. He has yet to be arraigned on his latest charges but has prior felony convictions for aggravated fleeing of a law enforcement officer in 2020 and aggravated assault in 2019. He was also on probation in Colorado.

“Mr. Montez has a history of violence and continues to show he will continue to violate the law,” Eddy County Sheriff Mark Cage said. “We know our community is safer with his arrest.”

The PVDTF conducted its investigation with assistance from the Carlsbad Police Department, Artesia Police Department and Eddy County Sheriff’s Office.

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