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Effort to combat crime coming to an end

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By John Cardinale

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    ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (KOAT) — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s operation that brought more New Mexico State Police to Albuquerque is coming to an end.

The operation started on Aug. 17 and the goal was to help Albuquerque police tackle crime.

In total, 35 more state police officers were deployed to the Albuquerque area, and they showed success.

“So far there’s been 160 arrests. 93 felony and 67 misdemeanors,” said New Mexico State police Chief Tim Johnson.

“Fifty-eight of those people had a previous violent crime on their record. So that’s again taking violent criminals off the streets, hopefully keeping them in jail so they are not on the streets causing crime,” Chief Johnson said.

But it wasn’t just violent criminals they were going after, they were also able to tackle vehicle violations.

“Total citations, we’ve written over 1,500 and we’ve arrested 21 folks for DWI,” Chief Johnson said.

They also recovered 21 stolen vehicles.

But Chief Johnson said the biggest bust was getting a suspected murderer off the streets.

“We were able to arrest a subject, a felon who had recently committed a drive by shooting in Farmington where he had injured two people up there. We got information that he was in town. We picked him up,” Chief Johnson said.

Chief Johnson said now that the mission is coming to an end, he hopes the citizens of Albuquerque appreciate his department’s work.

“ I haven’t received a lot of feedback on this operation. I’m sure there just hasn’t got to me. But the 2019 operation, we have got countless unlimited amounts of praise from the actual community, which is why we’re here,” Chief Johnson said.

Chief Johnson tells us it’s unclear if the operation will be extended past Oct. 2.

We reached out to the governor’s office about the mission and Gov. Lujan Grisham issued the following statement.

“State police officers have made a real difference in these few weeks. This targeted effort brought in dozens of violent offenders, keeping the worst of the worst off our streets.”

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