Republican who denied his election loss arrested over drive-by shootings at Democrats' properties

A failed Republican candidate who authorities said was offended over his defeat and made baseless claims the election final November was “rigged” in opposition to him was arrested in reference to a sequence of drive-by shootings concentrating on the properties of Democratic lawmakers in New Mexico’s largest metropolis.

Solomon Pena, 39, was arrested Monday night, simply hours after SWAT officers served search warrants at his dwelling and took him into custody, police said. 

Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina described Pena as a end result of the “mastermind” of what he said seems to be a politically motivated conspiracy ensuing in shootings on the properties of two county commissioners and two state legislators between early December and early January.

A prison criticism outlining the exact costs in opposition to the earlier political candidate was anticipated to be launched inside the approaching days. further arrests and costs additionally had been anticipated, however police declined to elaborate, citing the continued investigation.

nobody was injured inside the shootings however in a single case three bullets handed through the bed room of a state senator’s 10-yr-previous daughter.

A lawyer for Pena who might contact upon the allegations wasn’t listed Monday night in jail data.

misplaced race by forty eight share factors

Pena ran unsuccessfully in November in opposition to incumbent state Rep. Miguel P. Garcia, the longtime Democrat representing dwelling District 14 inside the South Valley. Garcia acquired by forty eight share factors, or roughly three,600 votes.

inside the final tweet under his candidate Twitter account, Pena said he “by no means conceded” and that he was “now researching my decisions.”

After the election, police said, Pena confirmed up uninvited on the elected officers’ properties with what he claimed had been paperwork proving he had acquired his race. There was no proof of widespread voter fraud in New Mexico in 2020 or 2022.

The shootings started shortly after these conversations.

“this form of radicalism is a menace to our nation and has made its selection to our doorstep proper right here in Albuquerque, New Mexico,” Mayor Tim Keller said. “however i do know we’ll push again, and we is simply not going to allow this to cross the sting.”

Alleged shooters not clear in all incidents

4 males allegedly conspired with Pena, who’s accused of paying them money to maintain out at the least two of the drive-by shootings in stolen automobiles, whereas Pena “pulled the set off” all through actually one of many crimes, Deputy Police Commander Kyle Hartsock said.

Detectives recognized Pena as their key suspect using a combination of cellphone and automobile data, witness interviews and bullet casings collected on the lawmakers’ properties, police said. His arrest obtained here one week after Medina introduced they’d recognized a suspect inside the shootings.

nobody was injured inside the shootings, which unfolded amid an enhance in threats to members of Congress, faculty board members, election officers and completely different authorities staff throughout the nation. In Albuquerque, regulation enforcement has struggled to deal with again-to-again years of doc homicides and protracted gun violence.

The shootings started on Dec. 4, when eight rounds had been fired on the dwelling of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa. Days later, state Rep. Javier Martinez’s dwelling was focused, adopted by a Dec. eleven taking pictures on the dwelling of Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley. elevated than a dozen rounds had been fired at her dwelling, police said.

the remaining associated taking pictures, concentrating on state Sen. Linda Lopez’s dwelling, unfolded inside the midnight hour of Jan. three. Police said elevated than a dozen pictures had been fired and Lopez said three of the bullets handed through her 10-yr-previous daughter’s bed room.

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Investigators acquired a break inside the case after expertise which will detect the sound of gunfire led an officer to Lopez’s neighborhood shortly after the pictures had been fired.

The officer found bullet casings matching a handgun found later that morning in a Nissan Maxima registered to Pena.

About an hour after the taking pictures at Lopez’s dwelling, police stopped the Nissan. the driving strain, recognized Monday night as Jose Trujillo, was arrested on a formidable warrant, ensuing in the invention of elevated than 800 fentanyl drugs and two firearms inside the car, police said.

Detectives additionally had been investigating two further shootings they initially believed is most possible associated to the Pena case: one inside the neighborhood of current Mexico lawyer primary Raul Torrez’s former advertising campaign office and one other at state Sen. Antonio Maestas’s office. Police on Monday said the shootings do not appear to be linked.

the mannequin new Mexico Republican get together condemned Pena in a press launch Monday night. “If Pena is found responsible, he should be prosecuted to the complete extent of the regulation.”


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