Two women from Taos County were picked up by Estancia Police on school property, and both are now facing felony counts of intent to distribute drugs.

That’s according to Estancia Police Chief and former drug therapist (at JC Recovery Center) Richard Young, who said the drug bust, with an estimated street value of about $4,000, is “the largest drug bust we’ve had that I know of.”

Mariah Voigt, 24, and Susie Zapata, 30, have each been charged with two counts of trafficking by possession with intent to distribute within a drug-free school zone, a first degree felony, and a conspiracy charge.

The women were found with 98 strips of Suboxone, which Young said had a street value of about $2,000, and 24 grams of methamphetamine, which he said had a street value of about $1,950.

Young said there were arrest warrants for both women for violation of probation or parole, and said police “had prior knowledge” they were coming into town. He did not comment as to how police knew. However, he also said that the women were most likely to be addicted to the methamphetamine, and that the court would decide if it was residential vs inpatient rehab for them, after they serve their parole period.

The women were also in possession of over $25,000 in cash, individual baggies, and new and used syringes.

The whole picture is what led to the trafficking charges, Young said. “When you have scales, a large quantity of narcotics, with that type of money, as well as individual baggies—the totality of everything together makes that trafficking.”

“We take a lot of pride in our department, and we’re going to continue to grit our teeth and do what the taxpayers pay us to do,” Young said. “As well, the mayor and the council have given us the resources to continue to do the job we’re supposed to do—they’re very supportive and they’ve given us the resources.”

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.