Written by Lieutenant Mark Soriano 06/08/2021
Valencia County, NM – In early 2021, after numerous murders in Valencia County, including the senseless and tragic murder of eleven-year-old Joseph Hobbs in Monterrey Park, New Mexico State Police officers in Valencia County organized a large-scale crime suppression operation dubbed Operation Joseph.
The goal of “Operation Joseph”, named in honor of eleven-year-old Joseph Hobbs, was the reduction of violent crime related to illegal drug crimes, in the Monterrey Park, El Cerro Mission, and Meadow Lake areas of Valencia County. The 10-week operation started in early March and ran through May 2021.
Working in conjunction with deputies from the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office, Special Agents with the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), as well as the Valencia County District Attorney’s Office; Operation Joseph led to a total of 57 arrests, including 4 drug trafficking cases, one of which has been adopted by the ATF and is being federally prosecuted.
Below is a breakdown of the results of Operation Joseph:
- Misdemeanor Warrant arrests: 20
- Felony Warrant arresrs: 17
- Drug Trafficking cases: 4
- Other Misdemeanor arrests including 4 DWIs: 11
- Other Felony arrests: 5
- Recovered stolen vehicles: 2
- Traffic Citations issued: 116
- Citizen Contacts: 1069
“Our commitment to you is to aggressively fight violent crime and improve quality of life for citizens of New Mexico,” said Robert Thornton, Chief of the New Mexico State Police. “My officers work day and night doing their best to prevent tragic losses, like the death of Joseph Hobbs, from devastating another family.”
“We at the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office want to thank the New Mexico State Police for allowing us to participate in Operation Joseph,” said Denise Vigil, Valencia County Sheriff. “The team effort was a great success and shows the unity in our law enforcement partners from local, state, and federal. Anytime we can contribute in a joint effort to protect our communities we can all consider it a success”.
“We are very pleased with the success of this operation and look forward to the continued collaboration between the Thirteenth Judicial District Attorney’s office and our law enforcement partners,” said Barbara Romo, District Attorney, 13th Judicial District. “I am very grateful for the men and women that participated in this operation and for their continued dedication to our community’s safety”
In addition to the 57 arrests, New Mexico State Police and the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office seized 53.43 grams of Methamphetamine, 64 Fentanyl pills, 9 grams of Heroin, 40 grams of Cocaine, and 1.45 pounds of Marijuana. The public can expect to see more operations like this in Valencia County in the future.