The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Police: Meth found in Portales motel water system

Officials believe Portales water supply safe


Last updated 9/17/2021 at 9:38pm

PORTALES -- Water service to Portales' Super 8 Motel has been shut off while officials investigate concerns of methamphetamine contamination.

Portales City Manager Sarah Austin said Friday night officials have determined there has been no contamination to the city's water supply. "This situation has been contained to just the Super 8 ... The city water is not affected," she said.

Police said they became involved in the investigation Friday afternoon when a motel customer reported a "piece of methamphetamine" came out of a faucet and struck him in the eye. Police confirmed the substance was methamphetamine, according to a police news release.

"It was later found that a large amount of methamphetamine had been introduced to the building's water system and then continued throughout the building," the release stated. Police did not immediately respond to questions about the amount of meth involved or whether anyone has been arrested in connection with the incident.

A motel spokeswoman said the facility is closed but declined to release any additional information.

Austin said testing by New Mexico State Police on Friday night found "inconclusive" results for contamination at the motel. Samples will now be sent to a lab for additional testing, she said.

"We did have the hotel next door tested and they don't have ... problems," she said. "At this time there is no need we see (for city water users) to be worried."

Austin said Super 8 officials have directed motel guests to nearby motels for the night. She said Super 8 was at capacity with about 44 rooms booked.

Eastern New Mexico University is hosting its annual College Daze Rodeo this weekend, resulting in hundreds of out-of-town visitors.

Police were first notified about 3 p.m. Friday.

The water supply to the building was cut "to stop the potential for contamination of the City’s water supply and to protect those still occupying the building," the news release stated.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes methamphetamine as "a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system."

Here is the news release from Portales police:

On Friday, September 17, 2021, at approximately 3 p.m. officers responded to the Super 8 Motel on US 70 in Portales regarding a customer that had, what was believed to be a piece of methamphetamine, strike them in the eye after it came out of a faucet.

Upon officers’ arrival it was determined that the substance was confirmed to be methamphetamine and the investigation continued. It was later found that a large amount of methamphetamine had been introduced to the building’s water system and then continued throughout the building.

The City of Portales has cut the water service to the building to stop the potential for contamination of the City’s water supply and to protect those still occupying the building. Portales Public Works has determined that there was no contamination to the City’s water supply due to how the substance was introduced to the building'

The New Mexico State Police have been contacted regarding this incident and are handling the potential hazardous material situation. The Portales Police Department will continue with the criminal investigation. Any questions regarding this incident should be directed to the Portales Police Department at [email protected]

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