Eleventh suspect jailed

Another suspect charged last week with drug trafficking in Portales is behind bars, according to Roosevelt County Detention Center staff.

Francisco "The Tank" Lopez, 23, turned himself in, bringing the total to 11 who have been taken into custody as a result of four-month drug-trafficking investigation, police said.

Ten Portales residents were arrested last week in a sweep by area enforcement.

Six more subjects charged in the investigation remain at large.

The suspects were arrested on felony charges of the possession, sale and trafficking of meth.

Law enforcement officials have declined to provide details if drugs were seized in the investigation or how the drugs were trafficked.

Lopez is charged with two counts of drug-trafficking, according to detention center staff.

Of those who were arrested last week, Koby Smith of Portales, 30, is the only suspect that has been released. Smith is out on a $50,000 bond, according to a detention center officer.

Those who remain at the detention center have bonds ranging from $25,000 to 80,000, officers say.

The Portales Police Department was the lead agency in the investigation and used the help of area law enforcement agencies and the Region V Drug Task Force.

Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler said suspects are looking at a nine-year sentence for a first conviction of trafficking and an 18-year mandatory sentence in prison for a second conviction.

Portales Police Chief Doug Jones said he expects the next part of the process will be for the suspects that have been arrested to present their cases before a grand jury.

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