BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Eric Greene, 19, of White Rock was arrested Wednesday by the Los Alamos Police Department Criminal Investigations Unit and is currently being held in the Los Alamos Detention Center pending a hearing before Los Alamos Magistrate Judge Catherine Taylor.
Greene is charged with two counts of trafficking of a controlled substance (distribution) narcotic, one count of distribution of a controlled substance and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor – all four crimes are felonies.
Court documents filed by Det. Jemuel Montoya indicates that since May 2022 local school officials, concerned parents and students reported that certain individuals were committing trafficking and other illegal activities. Based on this information, Det. Montoya’s request for an arrest warrant states that he completed some preliminary research and determined that Erich Greene ‘required furthers investigating for drug trafficking”.
Det. Montoya received information from a Confidential Informant (CI) on the social media platforms used by Greene to sell illegal substances. Greene allegedly used Snapchat with several user names. Det. Montoya sent a letter of preservation to Snap Inc. asking them to preserve all criminal activity that was suspected to be occurring on the accounts belonging to Greene.
Greene interacted with a CI and as a result of a first controlled buy, sold a prescription bottle of Codeine (a Schedule III drug listed by the Controlled Substances Act) and three pills of suspected Methylphenidate, a Schedule II substance. During this first buy, Det. Montoya said the CI obtained 13 suspected fentanyl pills from Greene, which he passed on to a detective working with Montoya on the case.
In December Det. Montoya obtained a search warrant four Snapchat accounts belonging to Greene. In his affidavit, Montoya said according to confidential sources, Greene consistently changes his user names in an attempt to mask his sales of illicit substances and to hide conversations of drug activity “including possible nationwide drug trafficking. Montoya also obtained a warrant for Block, Inc. for Cashapp transactions. Both search warrants were signed by former Magistrate Pat Casados.
Montoya’s affidavit says one of the apps searched offered suspected acid and cocaine and methamphetamine with prices and amounts and a prescription bottle of codeine. On one of the Snapchat accounts, Montoya said there as a video of a 17-year old smoking a marijuana joint “to the point that he inhales the whole joint and speaks of the experience” with Greene. The juvenile is known to officers from past investigations Montoya said.
Another transaction on Block Inc. was for a pill for $20 and yet another was for $10 for a shot glass and a baggy.
“While there are many more Snapchat messages belonging to Mr. Greene displaying further criminal trafficking behavior, these five exhibits are examples of Mr. Greene selling illegal substances to multiple people on multiple days,” Det. Montoya’s affidavit stated.
He also stated that Greene is a danger to the community for three reasons.
“A CI reported to detectives that Greene scares the CI and has often ‘shown off’ firearms and machetes to those around him’. The CI felt intimidated by his behavior. During surveillance I observed him with multiple machetes strapped to his backpack,” Det. Montoya said.
Montoya also noted that images and videos of multiple handguns in the Snapchat accounts.
“Because Mr. Greene is well known to use illegal substances, I feel it is quite dangerous for him to possess firearms or machetes – both for himself and others. Based on my investigation I suspect possession of those firearms by Mr. Greene to be illegal”, Det. Montoya said.
Montoya said there is also probable cause to believe that Greene is committing multiple felonies. Adding firearms into that behavior adds risk, danger to the community and danger to anyone around him.
“In addition to the danger to society Mr. Greene is also a flight risk. When reviewing Mr. Greene’s Snapchat, I determined that he moves between Clovis, Albuquerque and White Rock. Though currently residing at his parent’s residence in White Rock and running his trafficking operation from that residence, a summons would enable him to flee to one of those other locations,” Montoya said, explaining the reason for the arrest warrant.