EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A joint operation between the New Mexico State Police and the Las Cruces Police resulted in the seizure of drugs, cash from drug sales and numerous citations and arrests.

The eight-week campaign began on Feb. 1 and tackled high-crime areas in Las Cruces.

The operations used saturation patrols to maintain a law enforcement presence in high-crime areas, enforce criminal and traffic laws, identify people involved in illegal activities, track down wanted subjects, reduce auto thefts and build positive relations in the community.

According to the State Police, the operation resulted in a 19% reduction in auto thefts, a 9.9% reduction in burglaries and a 43% reduction in violent crime in Las Cruces as compared to the same period in 2022. Officers also seized a significant amount of drugs, including 532 grams of methamphetamine and 28,000 fentanyl pills, and $14,000 in cash associated with narcotic sales.  

“This joint operation exemplifies how critical our law enforcement partnerships are in keeping our community safe. Through the collaboration of our agencies, our officers’ efforts have resulted in a significant reduction in property crime, several arrests, and the removal of dangerous drugs off our streets,” said Miguel Dominguez, Las Cruces police chief.  “We will continue to work together to disrupt criminal activity and provide a safe environment for our citizens.”  

Officers made over 1,300 citizen contacts during the operation, issued 111 citations, recovered nine stolen vehicles and made 98 arrests. These arrests included 13 felony narcotic arrests, eight other felony arrests and 77 misdemeanor arrests. Eight firearms were taken off the street during the operation. 

“Collaboration is key to reducing crime in our communities. We cannot tackle this challenge alone, and we must work together with other law enforcement agencies to identify and address the root causes of criminal activity” said Tim Johnson, chief of the New Mexico State Police.  “By pooling our resources, expertise, and information, we can develop effective strategies to prevent crime, apprehend offenders, and keep our communities safe.” 

The New Mexico State Police and Las Cruces Police say they will conduct similar operations like these throughout the year.