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Police Blotter: K-9 unit seizes 85 pounds of narcotics worth $4M


A Bureau of Indian Affairs K-9 police unit arrested an individual and seized 85 pounds of narcotics worth more than $4 million near the exterior boundaries of the Laguna Reservation on Aug. 17, according to the U.S. Department of Interior.

The K-9 police unit seized:

• 82.8 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of $3,795,454;

• 2.44 pounds of heroin with a street value of $162,145; and

• 2,000 THC Concentrate cigarette cartridges with a retail value of $90,000.

K-9 Police Officer Nicholas Jackson and the K-9 dog Kofi made the discovery and arrest. In fiscal 2018, the BIA-Office of Justice Services led 15 operations in seven states, resulting in a total of 372 arrests and the total seizure of over 3,200 pounds of illegal narcotics with an estimated street value of approximately $9.8 million dollars, including:

• In Arizona, approximately 30,000 fentanyl pills were seized and more than a hundred thousand dollars’ worth of other illegal drugs during an operation at points of entry on the Tohono O’odham Nation.

• In New Mexico, another BIA K-9 unit seized $230,000 worth of marijuana and THC concentrate, also near Laguna Pueblo.

• In Arizona, at the San Carlos Apache Reservation, approximately 417 grams of methamphetamine – estimated street value of $27,060 – resulted in 18 general indictments.

• In the state of Washington, more than $200,000 worth of heroin and methamphetamine were seized and two non-Indian subjects arrested on the Spokane Reservation. And approximately 2,107 grams (4.6 pounds) of methamphetamine was seized with an estimated street value of approximately $105,350.

Body of missing NM man found in AZ

FLAGSTAFF – The body of missing New Mexico man, Craig Cavanaugh, 44, of Farmington, was identified near Heber, Arizona, according to an Aug. 29 news release from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. Cavanaugh was reported missing to the Farmington Police Department on July 5.

He was last seen in Farmington on July 4 reportedly headed to Peoria, Arizona, for a job but he never arrived. Cavanaugh’s phone was last pinged in Payson, Arizona, on July 4. Cavanaugh’s credit cards were used by three males in Payson, Glendale, and Peoria between July 5 and July 7. Cavanaugh’s missing 2012 Toyota Tacoma truck was later recovered in New Mexico on July 12. Farmington police detectives received a tip that Cavanaugh may be found in the Woods Canyon Lake area, just outside Forest Lakes, Arizona, and notified the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.

A search was conducted but nothing was found. Coconino County Sheriff’s detectives joined the investigation with Farmington Police detectives, as well as several Phoenix area law enforcement agencies and the Gila County Sheriff’s Office. The males who used the credit cards were identified by Farmington detectives working with the Arizona law enforcement agencies. The investigation determined these males are not considered suspects in Cavanaugh’s disappearance.

Detectives were able to identify two possible suspects who were believed to be with Cavanaugh in Payson on July 4. Detectives located and interviewed one of the suspects, who provided some information that led both Coconino and Navajo County Sheriff’s detectives to a wooded area just off Highway 260 outside Heber, where the body of a male was located on Aug. 5.

Identification of the deceased could not be readily made. However, Cavanaugh was identified later by fingerprints.  The investigation continues in this case.

Anyone with any information can call 928-774-4523.

About The Author

Bill Donovan

Bill Donovan has been writing about the Navajo Nation government since 1971 and for the Navajo Times since 1976. He is currently semi-retired and is living in Torrance, California, and continues to report for the Navajo Times.


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