Inmate accused of selling medication to inmates at county jail

Detectives believed Casey Manzanares was allegedly selling his prescription medication to inmates.

Farmington Daily Times
Casey David Manzanares

FARMINGTON — A Kirtland man incarcerated in the San Juan County Adult Detention Center has been accused of racketeering for allegedly conspiring to sell a controlled substance to fellow inmates.

Casey Manzanares, 30, was charged May 8 in Aztec Magistrate Court on a second-degree felony racketeering count and third-degree felony count for distribution of a controlled substance, according to court records. 

Tyson Quail, Manzanares' attorney listed in court records, did not respond to requests for comment.

Manzanares has four previous felony convictions for forgery, aggravated fleeing a police officer and bribery or intimidation of a witness, according to court records.

A detective for the San Juan County Sheriff's Office started an investigation in January into claims of multiple inmates conspiring to bring "illicit drugs" into the county jail, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

An inmate who was calling his "girlfriend/wife" multiple times a day appeared to the detective as one of the main conspirators. 

During phone calls, the inmate allegedly had the female "set up meets, send people money and place money on other inmate's books through an elaborate system," according to court documents. 

Court records indicate no charges have been filed against the inmate and the female.

As part of the investigation, the detective believed Manzanares was allegedly selling his prescription medication inside the adult detention center. 

A search on March 16 was conducted of the cell housing the inmate that had daily contact with the female.

"A large amount of prescription medication (both full and broken pills" were located," according to court documents. 

A copy of Manzaneres' account activity ledger showed six payments from the female totaling $406, according to court documents.

A search warrant issued for Manzanares' medical records showed he was prescribed Subutex, a schedule 3 controlled substance used for treatment of chronic pain and opiate dependence.

He is set for a preliminary hearing at 8 a.m. Thursday and was in custody at the county jail on Friday afternoon on a $50,000 surety bond in this case. 

He has 23 felony charges pending in district court in two separate cases. 

Manzanares is currently facing 21 felony charges for larceny, receiving or transferring stolen property, vehicle theft and vehicle burglary, according to court records. 

He is accused of stealing several vehicles from the Farmington Auto Auction, 1661 W. Murray Drive in Farmington, according to the Daily Times archives.

There are two felony counts for aggravated fleeing a police officer and receiving or transferring stolen property in a separate case. 

Jury trials are set for July in both district court cases, according to court records.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.