When Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Deputy George Martinez was dispatched, Dec. 2, to a call in La Mesilla, he was told a vehicle had possibly been involved in a hit-and-run. However, when he caught up with the driver, the case took a turn.

When he arrived on scene, the red Yukon that was allegedly involved in the hit-and-run crash was nowhere to be seen. However, dispatch gave him a physical address connected to the license plate.

Martinez went to Private Drive 1134A on County Road 8 and saw the vehicle at the entrance to the property. He got out of his patrol unit and spoke with the driver, later identified as Veronica Martinez, 38, of La Mesilla.

“As she opened the door I could see a white powdery substance on her jeans and also on the console of the vehicle,” George Martinez wrote in his incident report. “I could also see aluminum foil along with a smoking pipe on the floorboard of the vehicle.”

The deputy asked Veronica Martinez to get out of the SUV, so he could speak with her. When asked where she was coming from, she said she’d been at her boyfriend’s house in Española and went straight home.

As they were speaking, George Martinez noticed the SUV didn’t have any damage to it, which meant it could not have been the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run. However, he then turned his attention to the white, powdery substance in the vehicle and on Veronica Martinez.

“As I continued to speak with her I asked her what the white powdery substance was,” he wrote. “She stated it was her boyfriend's and was baking soda.”

George Martinez gave her several chances to tell the truth, but she insisted it was baking soda.

“... I stated to her I was going to filed (sic) test it as she said ‘go ahead its baking soda’ I retrieved a 904 reagent field testing kit I had in my unit and field examined the white powdery substance,” he wrote. “It reacted and was tested ‘positive.’”

Veronica Martinez was handcuffed and arrested for possession of a controlled substance (cocaine). She was transported to the Tierra Amarilla Detention Center and booked.

According to an online court records search, Veronica Martinez was released, Dec. 3, on her own recognizance, by Española Magistrate Court Judge Joseph Madrid. She was scheduled to make her first appearance in the case on Jan. 3, in Española Magistrate Court. The outcome of that hearing was not known at presstime.

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