New drug charges for man accused of armed robbery

Derek James accused of trafficking methamphetamine

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • This is the third set of pending criminal charges against James.
  • Drug paraphernalia was found in a vehicle James was driving, per court documents.
  • James' preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

FARMINGTON — A Farmington man accused of armed robbery and aggravated burglary faces new charges on allegations of trafficking methamphetamine.

Derek James, 34, is charged with trafficking a controlled substance and use or possession of drug paraphernalia from a July 4 traffic stop, according to court records and documents.

Derek James

An investigation by the New Mexico State Police found several items inside the vehicle James was driving, including a digital scale with a "white crystal substance," pipes with methamphetamine, "baggies" and a silver container with a white substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

He had no legal representation listed today on that set of charges.

Mark Curnutt and Scott Curtis, the attorneys representing James in other cases, did not respond to requests for comment.

A NMSP officer initiated a traffic stop around 9 p.m. on July 4 after he observed a white passenger vehicle make an improper turn along Broadway Avenue.

The license plate number for the vehicle showed the registered owner had a suspended license. James is not the registered owner of the vehicle.

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After performing a sobriety test, James told the officer he had "consumed drugs/marijuana" earlier in the day and was taken into custody, according to court documents.

A K9 officer was assigned to the scene and conducted a search, and the dog did "alert" to the presence of drugs in the vehicle, according to court documents. The vehicle was impounded and towed to the NMSP office in Farmington.

Officers obtained and executed a search warrant for the vehicle, and found the aforementioned items, including drug paraphernalia.

James also was arrested April 24 and accused of being involved in an armed robbery that left a Farmington man with multiple stab wounds.

The victim told police James stabbed him in the right and left hands, left shoulder and left thigh area, and stole about $3,000 in cash, according to court documents. James was released on bond on May 31, according to court records.

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James' preliminary hearing for the drug charges is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in Farmington Magistrate Court. A pre-trial conference for the robbery and burglary charges is scheduled for Oct. 10 in district court.

He was being held today on a $20,000 cash/surety bond in the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.

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