N.M. Department of Corrections Secretary Gregg Marcantel (2nd from left w/ back to camera) speaks to an inmate fire crew helping with the Little Bear Fire near Ruidoso. (Photo courtesy N.M. Dept. of Corrections)

Among the men and women fighting the fires across the state are hot shot crews comprised of state prisoners.

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The New Mexico Department of Corrections on Tuesday responded to an Associated Press inquiry about whether prison inmates were working on fires around the state, in particular the Little Bear Fire near Ruidoso that as of Tuesday night had destroyed more than 220 homes.

Here is what DOC Public Affairs Director Christina Rodda sent via email to the state’s media in response to the AP’s question:

New Mexico Corrections Department Secretary Gregg Marcantel just returned from the Northeast area of the burn line at the Little Bear Fire. The inmate fire crews were Read the rest of this entry »


From the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office:

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting a DWI Saturation Patrol the weekend of June 8th, 2012.  Deputies will be patrolling the county looking for impaired drivers and stepping up enforcement of all traffic infractions.  Sheriff Robert A. Garcia would like to remind the motoring public NOT to Drink and Drive, obey the speed limit and make sure that every passenger in the vehicle is properly restrained with an appropriate passenger restraint device.

From the Santa Fe Police Department.

As you all know the door-to-door solicitors seem to be in town. They MUST HAVE a City of Santa Fe Business license to be conducting business within the city limits. I would strongly suggest that if any solicitors come to your house and they don’t appear to be legitimate (have no business license, materials, cards, etc.), or just seem suspicious in any way call the Read the rest of this entry »


Video courtesy Santa Fe Police of a 75-year-old man getting clipped by a Santa Fe Trails city bus on Tuesday morning. The man is OK. (CLICK HERE for story)

First Judicial District Attorney Angela “Spence” Pacheco. (File photo by Natalie Guillen/The New Mexican)

Newspaper endorsements are odd. While they reside on the opinion page, readers rarely differentiate these from actual editorial content and it leads to the formation of opinions of the newspaper’s perceived bias.

There are those within the walls of newspapers that wish endorsements would go away and some who believe they serve a good purpose for readers. I’m no fan in general and I can assure you with 100 percent honesty that I have never been asked in my time as a reporter for an opinion to help influence an endorsement. In the case of The New Mexican, as it should be Read the rest of this entry »

T-shirts of Peshlakai sisters worn by the several dozen supporters at an Oct. 20, 2011, vehicular homicide sentencing for James Ruiz. (Geoff Grammer/The New Mexican)

It looks as though the passenger in the vehicular homicide case that took the lives of Del Lynn and Deshauna Peshlakai in 2010 won’t face criminal charges.

That’s what the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office on Thursday announced.

James Ruiz, the man in prison for 40 years for driving drunk and killing the sisters after a high school state tournament basketball game at Santa Fe Indian School, claims Gilbert Mendoza agreed to buy all the drinks that night if Ruiz would drive. That fits with state law allowing the state to proceed with charges against a passenger under the legal theory of accessory liability.

The AG’s Office went after Read the rest of this entry »

Tyrell Abney, 19. (Photo courtesy Los Alamos Police Department)

Los Alamos police say 19-year-old Tyrell Abney admitted hitting the 11-week-old son of his fiancé when she was out of their apartment on Wednesday because he was crying.

The boy has severe brain injuries, doctors say and Abney is now behind bars charged with child abuse resulting in great bodily harm.

Capt. Randy Foster told me shortly after noon that the boy was listed in stable condition at UNM Children’s Hospital in Albuquerque.

Here are more details leading up to Abney’s arrest in an article I wrote after reading the arrest warrant affidavit and listening to the 911 tapes:


Video by Nico Roesler/The New Mexican

Santa Fe police on Wednesday bade Luis Aguilar walk the gauntlet with waiting reporters outside after he was arrested and charged with multiple burglary-related crimes. Police say a DNA match from blood found at one 2010 and one 2011 burglary linked Aguilar to those crimes leading to Wednesday’s charges.

Jail records show Aguilar, 29, has been arrested 16 times on property crime offenses since 2007, often times having his case dismissed when his mental competency to stand trial was challenged in court.

Here is a link to an article from Nico Roesler with more info on Aguilar’s arrest:

This was just sent out by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office:

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office this morning received positive identification from the Office of the Medical Investigator of the body, located on county road 56C, in Santa Fe County. Fingerprints were used to identify the body as Oscar Ornelas 34 who was reported missing on May 7, 2012.   The Sheriff’s Office is investigating this as a homicide and is asking anyone with information to contact them at 505.428-3720.

Anyone with information that leads to an arrest in this case is eligible for a reward of up to $1000.  Callers should call Crime Stoppers (505) 955-5050 and will remain anonymous.

The gloves are off and it’s hard to imagine there being a productive working relationshop moving forward between the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office and First Judicial District Attorney Angela “Spence” Pacheco anymore after Tommy Rodella released a statement Thursday with harsh, and quite defensive criticism of Pacheco’s office.

CLICK HERE to read Rodella’s criticism in a prepared statement he handed The New Mexican’s crime reporter Nico Roesler in court on Thursday.

And now, Pacheco’s response, including a claim that Rodella is stumping for DA candidate/Pacheco opponent for the June primary Lloyd Drager: