Feds, county tout benefits of partnership in warrant roundup

Posted at: 09/17/2013 10:27 PM
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Four people are now in jail after federal agents and Valencia County deputies conducted a two-day roundup of people who had outstanding felony warrants.

Even though another three dozen people were able to elude authorities, deputies and agents told the 4 On Your Side team that the law enforcement partnership has its benefits.

"The assets that are available on the federal government level, [compared to] any local government, being small -- it just can't afford [them],” Detective Sergeant Don Derrick said.

Derrick said that his force of roughly 30 deputies could use extra manpower at times to cover a geographically large county.  And, as the 4 On Your Side team found out, the assistance can help put a dent in a backlog of old warrants.

Of the four people arrested in the roundup, one had an outstanding DWI warrant from 2005.

Kevin Abar, the assistant special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations, HSI, in Albuquerque, said more and more New Mexico counties are seeking federal law enforcement assistance.

“When I can put 50, 60, 70, a hundred guys out in the field, working with the state and locals, it's a great force multiplier on their side.  It just makes sense,” he said.

Additionally, federal agencies can charge suspected criminals with federal crimes which generally bring harsher punishment.

“[It] puts a bigger hammer on the individuals that the state and locals are looking for,” Abar said.

He said even though most people may be unaware that HSI exists, they should expect to see a growing partnership between his agents and local authorities.