The investigation right into a failed New Mexico political candidate and a string of shootings has expanded, with officers now seeking to decide if contributions to the suspect’s marketing campaign have been funneled by drug trafficking, police mentioned.
Republican Solomon Pena is accused of conspiring with and paying 4 males to hold out shootings on the Albuquerque-area houses of two Bernalillo County commissioners and two state legislators, Albuquerque police mentioned. Nobody was damage within the shootings, which all concerned elected Democratic officers.
Pena, who has been known as an “election denier,” was arrested Monday. He’s accused of paying 4 males money and texting them the addresses he wished focused, Albuquerque police mentioned.
Pena misplaced his Home race in November, and anger over which will have motivated the assaults, police mentioned. Pena has claimed that his defeat was the results of election fraud, however the allegations are unfounded.
He overwhelmingly misplaced to Home incumbent Democrat Miguel P. Garcia, 5,679 to 2,033, or 74% to 26%.
Pena’s lawyer was not instantly reached Friday.
Albuquerque police on Thursday mentioned that detectives and different regulation enforcement companies try to find out whether or not monetary contributions to Pena’s marketing campaign have been “generated from narcotics trafficking and whether or not marketing campaign legal guidelines have been violated.”
Pena is the one one that has been charged within the collection of shootings.
However a person who police have mentioned was allegedly concerned, Jose Trujillo, donated greater than $5,000 to Pena’s marketing campaign and that man’s mom additionally donated about $4,000 to the marketing campaign, officers mentioned. Their donations make up nearly 40% of the cash raised by Pena throughout his marketing campaign, police mentioned.
Trujillo is listed as a cashier in Pena’s marketing campaign stories.
At the very least eight photographs have been fired at state Sen. Linda Lopez’s residence on Jan. 3, the identical night time Trujillo was arrested on a felony warrant, police mentioned.
Trujillo was stopped in a automotive registered to Pena, police mentioned.
“The deputy recognized two firearms, a number of magazines of ammunitions, 893 Fentanyl capsules packaged in small baggies, and $3,036 in money,” police mentioned. “One of many weapons was later related to the capturing at Sen. Lopez’s residence. The deputy concluded that the weapons, medicine and money have been according to dealing narcotics. Trujillo was booked on Jan. 3, 2023, for his excellent warrant, in addition to a brand new cost of trafficking in narcotics.”
A lawyer listed for Trujillo in a federal grievance didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark Friday.
Pena is in custody, awaiting a Jan. 23 listening to. Prosecutors have known as him a hazard to the neighborhood are have mentioned he shouldn’t be launched forward of trial.
The primary capturing occurred Dec. 4 on the residence of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa. Within the following days, a capturing occurred exterior the house of latest state Home Speaker Javier Martinez. On Dec. 11, the house of then-Bernalillo Commissioner Debbie O’Malley was struck by greater than a dozen bullets, police mentioned.
Lopez’s residence was targetted in early January, and three bullets went by the bed room of her 10-year-old daughter. Nobody was injured.