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For Immediate Release

November 19, 2012 DUSM Ben Segotta, District of New Mexico (505) 462-2330
Warrant Operations in Southern New Mexico Net 54 Arrests

Albuquerque, NM - The United States Marshal Service in New Mexico was part of two different operations last week in Southern and South Eastern New Mexico resulting in 54 violent offenders being taken into custody. Among those arrested was Joe Louis Archuleta. Archuleta was one of the U.S. Marshals Service District of New Mexico “New Mexico’s Most Wanted” offenders. Archuleta was arrested by Deputies and Task Force Officers conducting “Operation November.”

“Operation November” targeted the counties of Chaves, Curry, De Baca, Eddy, Lea, and Roosevelt in South Eastern NM. The Marshals Service along with U.S. Marshals Service South West Investigative Fugitive Team (SWIFT) Task Force Officers, the local Sheriff’s Offices of Chaves, Curry, De Baca, Eddy, Lea, and Roosevelt, the New Mexico State Police, the New Mexico Department of Corrections Security Threat Intelligence Unit (STIU), and the United States Probation Office for the District of New Mexico attempted to locate and serve 140 felony warrants for fugitives residing in the cities/counties of South Eastern NM. Law Enforcement efforts during “Operation November” resulted in 29 arrests, the most dangerous of them being:

  • Joe Archuleta, attempted armed robbery w/deadly weapon.
  • Joe Silva, receipt/transport/possession of firearms or destructive devices by a felon, and unlawful carrying of deadly weapon.
  • Michael Samario-4 counts of aggravated battery, 1 count shooting from a motor vehicle, 4 counts of aggravated battery, receipt or transport of firearms or destructive devices by a felon, possession of controlled substance (methamphetamine), felon in possession of firearm during a drug trafficking crime.
  • Crystal Castaneda, armed robbery with a deadly weapon.

On November 14, 2012, the Las Cruces/Dona Ana County Metro Narcotics with the assistance of the Las Cruces Police Department, Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Department, New Mexico State Police, U.S. Border Patrol, Drug Enforcement Administration-Las Cruces, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Department of Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Marshals Service , and the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office, conducted an operation to apprehend more than 35 street level to mid-level narcotics traffickers in Dona Ana County.

During the operation, 25 fugitives were arrested. The majority of the arrests were for individuals charged with trafficking or possession of dangerous drugs, like Heroin, Methamphetamine and Cocaine. The most dangerous fugitive Vicente Hernandez Sr. was arrested for possession of Methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Hernandez posed the most significant threat, because in prior encounters with law enforcement, he had been found in possession of a firearm. Hernandez also has a son that currently resides with him and is believed to be an East Side Loco 13 gang member and known to carry firearms. During the arrest of Hernandez, a Las Cruces Police Department officer was bitten by a dog.

The arrests, during this operation, were the results of on-going narcotics investigations undertaken by Las Cruces/Dona Ana County Metro Narcotics and FBI that were initiated with the intent to infiltrate, disrupt and dismantle the street level to mid-level narcotic trafficking that is occurring in Dona Ana County and the surrounding areas.

United States Marshal Conrad E. Candelaria “these latest operations that involve the Marshals Service and its partnerships with local, county and state law enforcement agencies achieved its mission by apprehending and arresting many dangerous and violent fugitives from several of our communities throughout the State of New Mexico. These accomplished operations echo the all too familiar message that the sum of many law enforcement agencies working together can achieve greater results and communities are safer for all of our citizens because of effective cooperation and partnerships."

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at


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