Meth bust suspects on loose

By Eric Norwood Jr.

PNT staff writer

Two Portales residents accused of drug trafficking saw their chance to escape while New Mexico State Police secured a search warrant on their home Thursday at 1015 North Main St., according to state police.

Kandis Merrill and Wayne Beck left the residence after a search of their vehicle moments before turned up nothing.

“We technically could not hold them while we were obtaining an amended warrant (to search the home),” said New Mexico State Police Lt. Matthew Broom.

Merrill and Beck used this time to drive away in their Nissan Exterra, which had just been searched. State police eventually got an amended search warrant the same day and said they found 2.1 pounds of methamphetamine worth $98,000 in street value, almost $10,000 in cash, and three handguns inside of their residence. “I don’t know how long it took them to get the amended warrant. The process involves finding a judge and getting everything typed up, and we could not hold them because nothing was found inside of the vehicle,” said Broom.

State Police were able to track the Nissan Exterra to Clovis, but Merrill and Beck were not found with the vehicle. The vehicle has since been confiscated by state police. Multiple charges and warrants have been filed in Roosevelt County for Merrill and Beck, but there have been no arrests in the case.

Charges for Merrill and Beck include trafficking a controlled substance, possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon, and two other felonies and one misdemeanor.

“Arrests are pending,” said Broom.

According to court documents, Merrill made a sale of methamphetamine to a confidential informant while driving the Nissan Exterra.

Court documents indicate $300 worth of marked money found in the house was identified as New Mexico State Police contingency funds used on a controlled purchase of methamphetamine. Police said Merrill was the seller.

Merrill and Beck rented the residence.

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