PRESS RELEASE: Farmington police respond to explosion

Farmington, NM – The Farmington Police Department is investigating an explosion that occurred early Tuesday morning. At approximately 3:05 a.m. dispatch received reports of an explosion in the 500 block of East 20 Street. Officers searched the area and located the remains of an explosive device in the parking lot south of 505 E. 20 St. Investigation by the FPD Bomb Unit revealed the explosive was made from a gas sample cylinder. The explosion caused damage to a nearby shed and dented the side of a dumpster. No injuries were reported. The incident remains under investigation.

“This is an extremely serious incident and our detectives are working closely with ATF and the FBI,” said Chief Hebbe. “We urge all citizens to report suspicious activity immediately by calling dispatch.”

Anyone with information about this incident may call the FPD Detective Tip Hotline at 599-1068. Anonymous tips may be submitted to San Juan County Crime Stoppers at 334-TIPS.

The Farmington Police Department would like to remind citizens to never touch suspicious packages or items. Instead, call 911 immediately.

*The attached images are examples of the types of cylinders that could be used.


PRESS RELEASE: Farmington police searching for sexual assault suspect, requesting public’s assistance

Farmington, NM – Farmington police are trying to locate the suspect in a sexual assault that occurred this morning at an apartment in the 2500 block of Lee Avenue.

The suspect is described as a white male, possibly mid 30s, approximately six feet tall, 200 to 220 pounds, has broad shoulders, light brown hair approximately one to two inches in length and has a goatee. He was wearing a dark blue plain hooded jacket with a front zipper, blue jeans and black leather gloves.

Anyone with information is asked to immediately call dispatch at 334-6622.


Raccoons with distemper FAQs


The Farmington Police Department’s Animal Control Unit has noticed an increase in the number of calls related to sick raccoons. Many of the raccoons are exhibiting signs consistent with canine distemper. The following  includes information on distemper, steps to safeguard your pets and who to call when encountering a raccoon that may have distemper.

Frequently Asked Questions

 What is canine distemper?
Canine distemper is a contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous system of puppies, dogs and even ferrets. The virus can also be found in wildlife, such as raccoons, skunks, coyotes, foxes, and wolves (this is not an all-inclusive list). There is no cure for distemper, and the disease is often fatal. Canine distemper is generally always present in the raccoon population, although at low levels. The presence of the disease tends to spike in the fall.

What are the behaviors and symptoms of a raccoon with canine distemper?
Raccoons infected with canine distemper may exhibit unusual behaviors such as, slow movement, giving the appearance of being blind, stumbling, confusion and wandering aimlessly. They may also lose their fear of humans and become aggressive if cornered.

A mucus discharge will often be present around the eyes and nose and may be accompanied by coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, seizures or chewing fits. The animal may only exhibit some of these behaviors and symptoms and otherwise appear quite healthy.

What should I do if I see a raccoon I think has distemper?
If you see a raccoon and it appears sick, do NOT approach it; immediately call non-emergency dispatch at 505-334-6622. An animal control officer will be dispatched to assess the situation and will either make a referral to Department of Game & Fish or, if safe to do so, will catch the raccoon.

NOTE: Please remember, as cute as they may appear, a raccoon is a wild animal. Whether it’s carrying an infectious disease or not, it’s dangerous to try to make contact with or feed it.

Can my dog catch canine distemper?
Yes. If your dog has not been vaccinated against distemper and comes in contact with an infected animal, he/she can contract the disease. Puppies younger than four-months-old and dogs that have not been vaccinated against distemper are at an increased risk of acquiring the disease.

How can I protect my dog from contracting canine distemper?
To help reduce the changes of your dog becoming infected with canine distemper, owners should vaccinate their dogs when they are puppies and maintain booster shots as recommended by their veterinarian. Keep your dog on a leash when taking walks, and if you live in an area where raccoons, skunks or other wildlife have access to your yard, scan the area before letting your dog out.

How is canine distemper spread?
Canine distemper can be spread through a variety of ways. The most common transmission is through airborne exposure (sneezing or coughing). The virus can also be transmitted by food and water bowls, sharing of contaminated objects (such as toys, blankets and bedding) and ingesting or inhaling infected saliva, mucus, urine, or blood of an infected dog or animal.

Can humans catch distemper?
While canine distemper does not pose health risks to humans, people can be carriers of the virus and spread it to their pets. If you’ve ever owned a dog that suffered from canine distemper, it’s important to vaccinate new pets before they’re brought into the home.

*The information provided in this article is an overview of canine distemper. The purpose is to provide basic awareness and general safety guidelines. We encourage citizens to speak with their veterinarians for more in-depth information pertaining to the health of their pets.


American Veterinarian Medical Association

Pet MD


Pet Safety Tip from the FPD Animal Control Unit: Keeping Fido safe on walks and at the park

Frenchie on Leash

It’s not uncommon to see our four-legged community members accompanying their owners on walks through our beautiful parks or around other parts of town. But how do we ensure Fido’s safety and the safety of others while enjoying an outing?

Whether you’re walking your dog in a park or in another public area, it’s important to keep him/her on a leash. We all know dogs have minds of their own at times, and unrestrained, could run into traffic and be struck by a vehicle. This could not only harm the dog, but could also cause an accident and injure the occupants of the vehicle. The City of Farmington has established a Municipal Code to address this concern. The code requires that dogs be on a leash of eight feet or less when in public. The length of the leash is important, as it provides the owner a better way to maintain control of the dog in the event something catches his/her attention. Keeping your dog on an appropriate leash, also reduces the chances of him/her biting someone or another animal. Dog’s that aren’t on leashes are considered to be “at large” and owners are subject to a citation (Farmington Municipal Code 6-4-1(2).  And this could also land Fido in doggie jail.

There is an exception to the leash law: dog parks. Owners may allow their dogs to exercise and play at designated city dog parks. Farmington’s designated dog parks are  Westland Park and Saddleback Park. Owners must remain present to provide supervision. We also ask that owners please use dog park etiquette and refrain from taking a dog that may not play well with others when off a leash.

The Farmington Police Department’s Animal Control Unit thanks the public for doing their part in helping to keep all our community members safe!

PRESS RELEASE: Victim in yesterday’s drowning identified

Farmington, NM – Farmington police were dispatched to Lake Farmington last night around 6:00 due to a possible drowning. Police learned that three adults (two males both ages 31 and a female age 33) and two children, ages 2 and 8, arrived at the west side of the lake and saw a raft floating in the water. One of the men swam out in the lake in an attempt to retrieve it. The man began to struggle and went under the water. The second male saw him struggling and swam out to assist him while the woman called 911 for help. The second male also began to struggle but was able to make it back to shore.

Rescue efforts were attempted by New Mexico State Police, Farmington Police Department, Farmington Fire Department and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office. The Air Care 1 helicopter and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office helicopter were deployed at separate times to conduct air searches.

At approximately 1:00 p.m. today, searchers located the body of 31-year-old Jaime Tolbert. Chief Hebbe extended FPD’s condolences to the family, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Tolbert’s family and friends during this very difficult time.”

A portion of the lake was closed while the search was being conducted. The City of Farmington has reopened the lake for watercraft and non-motorized boating.

Please help us keep our city beautiful

The Farmington Police Department Code Compliance Unit is working hard to keep our city beautiful, but they can’t do it alone. They need the community’s help to ensure litter is disposed of in designated areas, such as the San Juan County Landfill or at Dumpster Weekends, which are scheduled twice a year.

In an effort to assist the public in complying with adopted codes and ordinances of the City of Farmington, Code Compliance would like to provide information regarding illegal dumping.

Farmington City Ordinance 23-1-5 (Dumping of Litter) states the following:

(a) It shall be unlawful to dump deposit, drop, throw, discard, leave, cause or permit the dumping, depositing, dropping, throwing, discarding or leaving of litter upon any public or private property in this city or upon or into any river, lake, pond or other stream or body of water or upon or into any roadside, ditch, glade, or arroyo in this city, unless:

(1) The property has been designated by the city for the disposal of litter; or

(2) The litter is placed in a receptacle or other container intended by the owner or tenant of that property for the deposit of litter.

(b) All complaints of alleged illegal dumping or disposal of litter in violation of this section, shall be investigated by the city. Enforcement officers shall, wherever practicable, inspect any illegally disposed litter found on any street, alley, public place, private place, or trash receptacle where trash was deposited by others not in control or not having ownership of such property, for any traceable ownership. Any personal identification or traceable ownership found in illegally dumped litter shall constitute prima facie evidence that the person whose identifying information is found, is presumed as the owner of such litter who dumped or placed such litter at the point where the violation occurred.

(c) If a person observes a vehicle from which litter was dumped illegally and obtains the license plate number of that vehicle, and the litter contains no identifiable or otherwise traceable indicia of ownership as noted in the preceding paragraph, then it shall be prima facie evidence that the littering was done by the person to whom the vehicle is registered and the registered vehicle owner had control and ownership over the illegally dumped trash.

The penalty for violation of this ordinance can be up to $500.00 per day that the violation continues.

Please remember that Farmington city residents may dispose of common household trash, construction material and debris, and green waste free of charge at the San Juan County Landfill.

Requirements to use the landfill:

  • Present a utility bill with identification. If you are not the person listed on the utility bill but you live at the same address, proof of address is required.
  • Farmington city residents can use a utility bill from the last six months to dispose of up to one ton of household waste. If the weight limit is exceeded, another bill from the previous six months can be used – up to six bills for a single trip.

NOTE: Payment is required for disposal of tires and animals.

Further information can be obtained by calling Waste Management at the San Juan County Landfill at 505-386-5005.

The next City of Farmington Dumpster Weekend is October 21st & 22nd from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Berg Park. Be sure to follow the City of Farmington’s Facebook page to see announcements on upcoming Dumpster Weekends.

The Farmington Police Department would like to thank the community for their assistance in keeping our city clean and beautiful!


PRESS RELEASE: Farmington police release sketch of suspect in attempted sexual assault case

SketchFarmington, NM – Detectives with the Farmington Police Department have been investigating a serious assault and attempted sexual assault that occurred in the area of Berg Park on July 21. Today, the victim in the case met with a sketch artist who was able to create a facial composite of the suspect.

The suspect is described as a Native American male, approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall weighing between 160 and 180 lbs. He was wearing a long-sleeve shirt with either a logo or other markings on the upper sleeves, black pants and possibly white athletic shoes with black accents.

If you believe you know this individual, please contact the Farmington Police Department Detective Division at (505) 599-1005. Anonymous tips may be submitted to San Juan County Crimes Stoppers at (505) 334-TIPS.