DEA Raids Anthony, NM Pecan Farm
ANTHONY, N.M. - The Drug Enforcement Agency raided Pettit Farms early Wednesday morning after monitoring phone calls and using undercover agents to purchase drugs from the farm for more than five months.
According to the criminal complaint, the DEA began listening to phone conversations coming into and out of the farm. They began monitoring calls in August of 2011.
On September 16th, Oscar Portillo Sr. and Matthew Portillo allegedly sold five ounces of cocaine to an undercover agent. According to the indictment, there were several more transactions between Portillo Sr. and the agent.
The documents allege Portillo Sr. told the agent to use "pecan pies" as code words when ordering cocaine over the phone. On November 4th, Portillo Sr. asked the agent to pay for the drugs with money orders made to the farm's name. Sandra Portillo then forged an invoice saying the agent had paid for $2400 worth of pecan trees.
Brenden Arenivar has lived next to Pettit Farms for more than six years. He said he always sees plenty of activity at his neighbor's property.
"All hours of the night, one in the morning you have cars going in and out all the time," said Arenivar.
Agents monitored calls between Cesar Ramos and Oscar Portillo Sr. According to the criminal complaint, Cesar Ramos was determined to be supplying Portillo Sr. with narcotics. Ramos's brother Fernando was allegedly storing drugs at his home.
Nine people were arrested in the operation.
Agents seized 1,250 grams of cocaine during the operation. 800 grams were purchased by the undercover agent. 450 grams were found during the raid.