Drug Bust Near Mayfield High
POSTED: Friday, March 6, 2009 - 7:20pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:23pm
LAS CRUCES--- Nearly two dozen teenagers are facing drug charges after a New Mexico State Police sting Friday morning.
After two weeks of watching students use and sell drugs like marijuana and cocaine, police moved in. Those 21 teenagers have now been cited and face court in one month.
NewsChannel 9 spoke with one of the students arrested in the roundup. He admits there is a lot of drug activity at the spot.
The teen, a junior at Mayfield, wanted to remain anonymous, but he admits kids use marijuana in the parking lot.
Yet he denies any cocaine being used, and says no one sold drugs there.
Just teens smoking.
All of this, while police were around.
"Police would come up there sometimes, you know. We would just talk to them and say hi and everything.Then they'd just go and be on their way," said the teen.
But that's exactly what one local pastor says has been the problem.
New Life Pastor Chris Foster pastor says he's seen the drug use in the parking lot of his church for two years.
He claims he's told everyone about the activity, but no one's listened until now.
"We've had them doing meth out here, and doing lines of coke," he said. "There was probably no drug that was not available in that corner."
State police say that the students would come right here across the street from school, mornings, during lunchtime, even after school to use and to sell."
Foster says he had enough, and tried to stop it.
"We went in amongst the kids and said, hey, you know, don't do this, this isn't good. That didn't work," he said.
So, he decided to go to the authorities.
But then a surprise over jurisdiction.
"Whenever there was trouble, you'd call the city police. They'd say it was the Sheriff's. Call the sheriff's, and they'd say the City," he said.
That's because the street that separates the church from the school, is the dividing line between the city and the county.
We asked both the police and sheriff's office about the complaints.
The sheriff's office said simply, "no comment."
But police say while they haven't had major busts like Friday's, they have made drug arrests in the area before.
Foster says, he also went to the school district for help.
So... we asked them about it.
"At this particular point in time the district did not have any particular observation or info to indicate that we were aware of any particular illicit or illegal activity that was going on," said Las Cruces School District Associate Superintendent Herb Torres.
Torres says the school is working on disciplining not only the 21 cited, but also 25 other kids at the hangout for not being in school.
"I'm sorry for the kids what happened to them, but at the same time if it'll help them to stop using the drugs, then I guess I'm happy about that," said Foster.
At this point, the Mayfield students will face possible suspension from school, and a judge in just one month.