Warrant roundup: 121 people arrested during 4-day APD operation

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — During the last week, the Albuquerque Police Department held a warrant-clearing operation as part of this year’s Metro Crime Initiative.

Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina says when Mayor Tim Keller asked what the city could do in the short term to fight crime – his quick answer was warrant roundups.

“The vast majority of the time when they arrest somebody for a felony crime, the person already has a felony warrant,” Medina said. “We could have prevented that crime if that person would have been in jail for their warrant to begin with.”

For example, Jose Romero and Nathen Garley. Both were arrested in connection to 11-year-old Froylan Villegas’ murder.

Medina said Romero was wanted since 2020 for drug possession, and Garley was wanted since 2022 for carrying a concealed gun without a permit.

“These individuals should have never been out in the community, and a young man should have never lost their life,” Medina said.

APD arrested 121 people and cleared 105 felony warrants during its four-day operation.

Medina said APD worked with the District Attorney’s Office to make a list of suspects with felony warrants to target, including crimes like child abuse, assault, and armed robbery.

Medina also said it gets old hearing lawmakers say, “You can’t arrest your way out of crime issues.”

“I’ll once again make this bold statement,” Medina said. “You get my average jail population at the jail up to 2,000 and we will see a way different Albuquerque.”

Keller says APD and the city are already working on proposals for the upcoming legislative session to tackle crime. The mayor says most of it revolves around funding.

Medina said a lot of the proposals are ideas that have already been brought to the Legislature before, but don’t make it through.