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      Operation Ice Out nets drug trafficking suspects

      A multi-agency effort in Portales has resulted in the arrest of several suspects in connection with drug trafficking.

      Police officers and deputies from the Portales Police Department, Roosevelt County Sheriffâ??s Office, Region V Drug Task Force, the ENMU Police Department and the Portales office of the State of New Mexico Adult probation and Parole are involved.

      Seventeen warrants were issued for Portales residents.

      After a briefing about 9 mountain time, the officers were dispersed and they gradually returned with suspects.

      Portales Police Chief Doug Jones says methamphetamine has been a problem in the city. "Methamphetamine seems to be the primary drug of use. Itâ??s been extensive. We hope the arrests this morning will put a large dent in the distribution of that drug and heroin."

      The investigation has lasted four months and is not complete.

      Prosecutors say, if convicted, the suspects could receive up to nine years in prison on each count.

      Ninth District Attorney Matt Chandler says, "If thereâ??s a second offenseâ?|if the individual has had a prior conviction in drug trafficking, then they get a mandatory 18 year prison sentence. So weâ??re going to strive for the maximum."