Trafficking arrest made at Santa Fe High basketball game

Patrick Marquez, courtesy Santa Fe County jail

Members of a Santa Fe police SWAT team arrested a suspected drug trafficker Thursday night, when they say he showed up at a Santa Fe High School basketball game with a fanny pack full of drugs.

Patrick Marquez, 38, is facing three felony charges of trafficking methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine, as well as charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to a criminal complaint filed Friday in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court, Marquez has been part of an ongoing drug trafficking investigation by the Region III Narcotics Task Force, a multi-agency collaboration to fight drug crimes.

Officers obtained a search warrant for Marquez and his Hopewell Street residence in November, the complaint says, and learned during their investigation that he was expected to show up Thursday night at Santa Fe High’s Toby Roybal Memorial Gymnasium for a basketball tournament game between the Demons and the Los Alamos Hilltoppers.

Before the game, police covertly watched Marquez at his home, the complaint says, and saw people come and go from the residence very quickly in what they described as suspected “ ‘street level’ narcotics transactions.”

Santa Fe SWAT agents followed Marquez to Santa Fe High around 7 p.m., the criminal complaint says, and arrested him when he was trying to enter the game.

According to the court document, Marquez admitted to distributing narcotics “for several months” and carrying about $600 worth of heroin, meth and crack cocaine in the fanny pack. Marquez told police he intended to sell the drugs. The complaint says police found 52 baggies of heroin (61 grams total), six bags of meth (40 grams) and 10.5 grams of crack.

Whether he intended to offload that haul at the basketball game is unclear. New Mexico State Police Lt. Scott McFaul, commander of the Region III Narcotics Task Force, said Friday he couldn’t confirm whether that was the case.

While Marquez was being interviewed at the police station Thursday night, the criminal complaint says, other SWAT agents served the arrest warrant on his home. Among other things, agents recovered a 9mm pistol.

Court records indicate Marquez has been charged in more than a dozen criminal cases, including numerous felony counts, such as aggravated assault and false imprisonment, many of which have been dropped because prosecutors declined to pursue the charges.

Marquez, who is being held in the Santa Fe County jail, is due before a county magistrate Monday for a first appearance on the trafficking charges.


Sami Edge covers public-safety issues for Santa Fe New Mexican and follows developments in this year's fire season.

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