BCSO ramps up patrols along Central Avenue

Police ramps up patrol along Central Avenue

Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen says criminals in Albuquerque are getting a rude awakening

BERNALILLO COUNTY, N.M. – Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen says criminals in Albuquerque are getting a rude awakening. 

As deputies continue the Gang Recognition Intel Patrol or “GRIP” operations along Central Avenue, a video shows just what that looks like.

“We have foot patrol, we have traffic stops, we’re just going out and speaking to people, we’re talking to business owners, residential people what they’re seeing, because you’ll see the crime moving fluctuate as we’re moving them up and down Central,” said Allen. 

He says phase two is about proactive patrols. Recently, one alleged criminal was unlucky enough to wake up surrounded by deputies. 

Deputies say Luis-Sierra was found asleep in his car with drug paraphernalia in his lap, and a gun before the operation started.

Later, BCSO determined Sierra was smoking crushed fentanyl pills. He told deputies he thought it was oxycodone.

Deputies say they also found meth in his car. Sierra is now facing charges of felony drug possession. 

Allen says these types of arrests are the goal of the GRIP operations.

“We’re starting to see now fentanyl mixed with methamphetamine and heroin again. So the opioid crisis is it’s never left, everyone thinks you move on to a different narcotic you do. But you can’t forget about the narcotic that you were battling before,” said Allen. 

According to BCSO, deputies have made 26 traffic stops and four arrests this month.

Allen says it is now easier to find hot spots for criminal activity. 

“We see at bus stops, we see that the transit areas, all for people getting help that are trying to go to work every day with the free bus passes. So I hope people don’t twist my words, but that’s where we’re seeing the crime,” Allen said. 

After recent arrests of BCSO deputies, Allen says those issues will be addressed, but crime doesn’t stop for scandals. 

“That’s a huge hurdle. That’s something off-duty, or off-duty culture, that we’re looking into. But we can’t forget about the crime epidemic, you can’t just focus on one thing,” said Allen. 

Allen says these types of operations will go for the foreseeable future until crime is much more controlled in the area. 

He says the two BCSO deputies who were with BCSO Deputy Daniel Vazquez when he was arrested on DWI and battery charges are still on administrative leave.