Documents: Sunland Park couple used child in effort to hide cocaine from DEA

SUNLAND PARK, New Mexico - Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrested a Sunland Park couple accused of trafficking cocaine and using a child in a ploy to hide narcotics from investigators

On January 11, 2018, DEA agents were conducting surveillance on Ruben Hernandez, "known for participating in the distribution of illegal narcotics," a criminal complaint states.

Hernandez left his residence on the 3800 block of Rio Alamos Drive in a Nissan Armada and was later pulled over by Sunland Park Police for failing to make a complete stop at a stop sign. Police told Hernandez he had an active warrant out of Kentucky and Hernandez told the officer he had been the victim of identity theft and that this was not the first time he was told he had active warrants. Hernandez told police he had paperwork at his home proving he was innocent.

While police investigated the matter, Hernandez was taken to a nearby police station and the Nissan Armada was turned over to his wife, identified in court documents as Griselda Hernandez.

Under interrogation, investigators told Ruben Hernandez they knew he and his wife were involved in drug trafficking and that they had witnessed him selling cocaine.

At that point, the document states, "Mr. Hernandez admitted to selling cocaine and informed that he had about eight ounces of cocaine in his home to sell valued at $6,400. Mr. Hernandez gave consent to retrieve the eight ounces of cocaine from his residence."

Ruben Hernandez allegedly took the investigators to his home, where he allegedly retrieved two baggies of cocaine and handed over the baggies to the agents, court documents state. The man allegedly told investigators his wife "may have taken the rest of the cocaine," the court document states.

Ruben Hernandez allegedly called his wife and informed the agents she had moved the cocaine to a nearby trailer he was renovating, the document states. When the agents were taken to the trailer, Griselda Hernandez allegedly retrieved a Mickey Mouse backpack containing cocaine, a scale and a bottle containing a cutting agent for cocaine, investigators said. 

An investigation revealed that while Hernandez was being questioned at the police station, agents conducting surveillance at the Hernandez residence allegedly observed Griselda Hernandez exit her home with a child carrying a Mickey Mouse backpack. The agents followed Griselda and the child to the trailer home, saw them enter the home and then exit without the backpack, court documents state.

Investigators said it was the same backpack containing the cocaine and drug items.

Investigators charged Ruben Hernandez with Trafficking By Possession with Intent to Distribute and Conspiracy to Commit Trafficking with Intent to Distribute.

Griselda Hernandez was charged with Trafficking By Possession with Intent to Distribute, Conspiracy to Commit Trafficking with Intent to Distribute, Abuse of a Child and Tampering with Evidence.

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