Former state cop Daniel Capehart convicted by jury of three federal drug charges

A sentencing hearing for the defendant has not been scheduled; he faces up to 40 years for the meth conviction

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
Daniel Capehart
  • Daniel Capehart, 36, of Bloomfield, was convicted on July 22 of three counts of distribution of marijuana and methamphetamine.
  • The case was launched when Capehart starting texting a teen girl following a June 25, 2018, traffic stop.
  • Capehart then delivered 5.7 gram of meth near the bathrooms at Salmon Park for the confidential source..

FARMINGTON — A former state police officer has been convicted of three federal drug charges and could face up to 40 years in a federal prison on one of the convictions involving methamphetamine.

Daniel Capehart, 36, of Bloomfield, was convicted on July 22 of three counts of distribution of marijuana and methamphetamine, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.

The two-day trial started on July 21 in Albuquerque federal court.

More: Former NMSP officer facing drug charges sued by man for wrongful arrest, rights violations

Capehart was a New Mexico State Police officer on June 29, 2018, when he was arrested at the state police office in Farmington on the charges.

He resigned from the law enforcement agency on Aug. 3, 2018,

The investigation involved the Farmington Police Department, FBI, San Juan County Sheriff’s Office and the Region II Narcotics Task Force.

The case was launched when Capehart started texting a teen girl following a June 25, 2018, traffic stop. She then turned over the cellphone to the Sheriff's Office.

Investigators used the girl’s cellphone to pretend they were her, which led to Capehart offering the “girl” marijuana in exchange for “selfies” from the juvenile.

More: State police officer facing federal drug charges resigns

The first marijuana drop was on June 21, 2018, near an electrical box near the intersection of Castle Rock Drive and Club House Drive in Farmington.

The second marijuana drop was at a Farmington car wash at 330 E. 20th St. in Farmington on June 23, 2018. 

It was within 1,000 feet of the Brookside Park playground and Farmington High School, according to court documents.

A confidential source who spoke to an FBI special agent on June 28, 2018, described a similar situation where Capehart was communicating with them.

This led to an operation on June 29, 2018, where Capehart took possession of 24 grams of meth from an undercover agent posing as a drug dealer, according to The Daily Times archives.

More: Arrest of State Police officer could affect nearly 70 pending cases

The operation led Capehart to book the agent at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center, and he then delivered 5.7 grams of meth near the bathrooms at Salmon Park for the confidential source.

The location of the meth drop was within 1,000 feet of Central Primary Elementary School. 

Capehart would admit to the allegations during an interview during the investigation but later pleaded not guilty in federal court.

A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled for Capehart. He faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and up to 40 years for the meth conviction.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e