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Couple busted near LAPD parking lot

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Crime: Surveillance cameras lead to drug-related arrests

By Carol A. Clark

Officers from the Los Alamos Police Department did not have to walk far Monday afternoon to arrest two people on a variety of drug related charges.

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Police Chief Wayne Torpy explained that parking lot surveillance cameras captured Michael A. Muniz, 23, of Dixon and Dinah A. Ortiz, 23, of Alcalde engaged in possible illegal activity inside their vehicle.

“Our folks who monitor the Justice Center complex for security purposes noticed possible drug related activity in the court parking lot adjacent to the police station,” Torpy said this morning.

Deputy Chief Kevin Purtymun said the personnel alerted officers to the possible crime in progress, which resulted in the arrest of Muniz and Ortiz.

Police charged the couple with possession of marijuana, possession of controlled substances, possession of drug paraphernalia, trafficking controlled substances, conspiracy, receiving stolen property and shoplifting.
Police also charged them with child abuse because an 8-month-old male child was inside the vehicle at the time of their arrest.

“Child abuse was the most serious of the charges because not only was the pair conducting their illegal activities but they were doing that with an infant in their presence,” Torpy said.

At least one of the subjects was actively involved in injecting narcotics when police arrived on the scene, Purtymun said.

An investigation and search of their vehicle found quantities of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, drug paraphernalia, shoplifted and stolen property, and a wallet reported stolen in Santa Fe County.  

Ortiz bonded out of jail after paying $29,000 in cash or surety.

Muniz remains in jail on a $40,000 cash or surety bond.

John Severance contributed to this report.