Lapel video: Driver explains why she’s holding cocaine after passing out in car

Kimberly Rivera
Kimberly Rivera

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – When deputies found a driver passed out in her running car with drugs in her lap, they asked her what she was doing and she gave them a surprisingly honest explanation.

It was nearly 4 a.m. last month when a Santa Fe County deputy noticed a red Nissan parked on the frontage road along Highway 599.

The driver slumped behind the wheel of the running sedan was Kimberly Rivera of Fort Worth, Texas, with a plastic bag clenched in her hand.

The deputy called for backup.

“I hate to do it,” said the deputy on lapel video. “But I’m going to reach in and try to shut it off.”

Just a few seconds after the deputy took the keys out, the 42-year-old woman finally woke up.

“Hello, how are you doing?” the deputy asked.

“Good,” Rivera answered.

“Good, what’s going on?”

“I just, um, fell asleep,” Rivera said.

Rivera then got out of the car, with her baggie in hand.

“I’m not drunk or anything. I’m just, uh…” Rivera told the deputy.

“What do you got in your hand here?” the deputy asked.

“It’s just a little bag of something to keep me awake,” Rivera answered.

“What is it?”

“It’s just a little bit of cocaine to keep me awake,” Rivera said.

“Is that your pipe right there on the floor?”


A surprisingly honest suspect at first, Rivera claims she only does cocaine — but deputies find paraphernalia for other drugs in the car, along with a little marijuana.

“You know, from what you have in that box, you do more than cocaine, right? You do heroin?” the deputy asked.

“No, not really. I mean occasionally, yes. Yes sir, I do,” Rivera answered.

A pretty open and shut case, and it’s off to jail for Rivera.

Rivera was booked for felony possession. Deputies also tested her at the scene to see if she was driving impaired. She passed all of the tests. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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