Officers involved in the narcotics bust were Detective James Nance, Detective Tim Gutierrez, Deputy Alfredo Garza, and Detective Gilbert Padilla III.
Russell Huffman | El Defensor Chieftain

A search warrant conducted by Socorro Socorro County Sheriff’s detectives last week resulted in the arrest of a Socorro man for trafficking fentanyl and other narcotics. A criminal complaint filed in Seventh District Judicial Court states that Cody Fivecoat of Socorro had been charged with four felonies.

  • Trafficking a controlled substance, a 2nd-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance-methamphetamine, a 4th-degree felony
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon, a 3rd-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance-psilocybin mushrooms, a 4th-degree felony

Sheriff’s detectives arrested Fivecoat on Aug. 14, and he made his first appearance before Magistrate Judge Felix Saavedra on Aug. 15. A pretrial detention hearing was held in Seventh District Court on August 18.

The arrest concluded several months of controlled buys and surveillance of Fivecoat by Sheriff’s Detectives Tim Gutierrez and Gilbert Padilla.

“I’d been investigating Cody Fivecoat since September of 2022,” Gutierrez said. “He was always moving around. Homeless, in a way. Squatting at different peoples’ houses, and it got to where I planned on making a move on him, he would always get up and leave for another location.”

Gutierrez honed in on Fivecoat’s most recent location and obtained a search warrant for that address.

According to the criminal complaint, on Monday, Aug. 14, the officers knocked on the door and announced their presence.

Cody Fivecoat was arrested August 14.
Photo courtesy SCDC

“The door was answered, and upon entering, we found Fivecoat in the residence, and soon as he saw us, he threw something into the next room,” Gutierrez said. “He then put his hands up and got on the floor. He was arrested with no incident.”

Gutierrez and Padilla began their search of the residence and in a small bedroom, Gutierrez said he located what Fivecoat had thrown into the room.

“I came across the shoulder pack that I knew he wore and took with him everywhere he went,” Gutierrez said. “I opened it and immediately noticed there were numerous amounts of narcotics.”

After taking photos of the scene, Gutierrez continued the search of the shoulder pack.

“We emptied out one pocket and found a large number of fentanyl pills, some methamphetamine, and marijuana,” he said. “I opened up another pocket and noticed four additional bags full of fentanyl pills.”

The criminal complaint states that a total of five baggies “contained approximately 4,800 blue pills labeled M-30,” known to be a fentanyl designation.

Also in the bag, according to the complaint, were two small baggies of methamphetamine and psilocybin mushrooms, the criminal complaint said.

A loaded .22 caliber handgun was also in the bag, the document stated.

The complaint states that a confidential informant told Gutierraz that Fivecoat always kept the bag on his person and stored his narcotics in it. In addition, Gutierrez had seen Fivecoat wearing the bag earlier on Monday.

The arrest of Fivecoat and seizure of the narcotics came after a months-long investigation involving informants and a series of controlled buys, said Gutierrez.

“We have sources that conducted numerous controlled buys from this individual,” he said. “And after we conducted so many buys, we felt, and the DA felt, that we had enough evidence o go ahead with the search warrant.”

According to court filings, Fivecoat is being represented by Albuquerque attorney Keith Martin Valles, and as of press time, his preliminary hearing has not been scheduled.

Gutierrez has been working with narcotics investigations for most of his tenure at the Sheriff’s Department and said he is gratified this recent bust went smoothly.

“Deputy Freddy Garza assisted, and we had support from Socorro Police Department and New Mexico State Police,” he said. “It was a team effort.”

Gutierrez said in addition to interagency support, getting respect and support from community members is invaluable.

“I’m from Socorro, lived here for 50 years,” Gutierrez said. “I talk to everybody. People talk to me. I get phone calls every day. Who’s selling, who’s using, who’s doing what. Sometimes their own relatives are calling. Everybody’s talking; everybody’s saying something. If you’re dealing, I know you’re dealing.”

He said he and the department are doing their best to stem the tide of illegal drugs being sold on the street.

“I hate drugs. I hate what they do to people. Fentanyl’s a very dangerous drug,” Gutierrez said. “I’ve never seen any other drug like this before in my life. It’s a killer. It kills kids, anyone. Nobody is immune from this drug.