- Station Info
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Sunday, October 14, 2012 - 23:12
LAS CRUCES, NM — The New Mexico Department of Corrections conducted a warrant roundup operation over the weekend arresting absconders in the Las Cruces region who failed to maintain their probation or parole conditions.
The New Mexico Fugitive Apprehension, formed in April of this year, arrested 32 absconders during their weekend operation.
"They know if they go report they are going to come up with dirty urine so they're going to be taken back into custody," said New Mexico Department of Corrections Security Threat Intelligence Administrator Dwayne Santiestevan.
From his experience, Santiestevan said most of the time people fail to report due to drug use.
He said during the operation they were also looking for anything else that might violate the conditions of someone's release.
"Drug paraphernalia, fire arms, anything that violates their conditions," Santiestevan said.
When officer make entry into a home looking for somebody or conducting a routine visit, they search bedrooms, closets and check underneath beds and inside books for any prohibited items.
If anything is found they confiscate the items, such as empty alcohol bottles, and report it to the courts where a judge can review the probation terms.
"What this does is violate terms of probation and parole," Santiestevan said. "Stuff like this could have them sent back into jail."
The officer's job could potentially turn dangerous on any call and officers are always on high alert.
"Our number one priority is self protection and protection for the community," Santiestevan said.
Santiestevan said it's a privilege to be out on conditional release and should not be taken lightly.
The approximately 40 member team comprised of local law enforcement and U.S. Marshals will continue to search for absconders regularly in New Mexico.
"Don't think that you're going to be able to sit back at home and relax cause we are going eventually come and get you," Santiestevan said.