The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989

Sheriff's Corner

Tip leads to drug and stolen property arrests, possible meth lab, in Bernalillo

John Paul Trujillo
Sheriff
Sandoval County

In March 2004, the Sandoval County Sheriff's Office received a complaint from residents in the area of 35 Guadalupe Road in the town of Bernalillo. The residents wished to remain anonymous but were concerned that there was a possible methamphetamine laboratory on the property. In November 2004, a case was closed with the arrest of the owners of this residence, Richard Martinez and Talana Block, for the possession of stolen identification cards and possession of methamphetamines.

In December 2004, narcotic detectives with the Sandoval County Sheriff's Office began an investigation into the trafficking of narcotics at 35 Guadalupe. The suspect was identified as Richard Martinez.

On January 31, 2005, detective observed Richard Martinez outside of the residence. Detectives approached the residence and made contact with Martinez. Detectives advised Martinez of the complaint and Martinez gave consent to search the premises. On the property was an RV trailer that Martinez was living in. Inside the RV, detectives located a female who was unable to provide proof of identification.

Upon search of the RV, detectives located two grams of Methamphetamine, less than one ounce of marijuana, and numerous drug paraphernalia items. It was later discovered that the RV, which Martinez was living in, was stolen. Richard Martinez was taken into custody and charged with felony receiving stolen property over $20,000, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana under one ounce, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The true identity of the female was later discovered to be Talana Block, who was also taken into custody and charged with concealing her identity.

On February 1, 2005, narcotics detectives obtained a search warrant for the residence of 35 Guadalupe. Upon serving the search warrant, detectives located numerous identifications in the name of persons from the Albuquerque area. Also located on the property were numerous fifty-five-gallon barrels filled with an unknown liquid. The sewer pipe coming from the RV trailer was found to lead to a shallow hole in the ground that was covered with a piece of plywood. A Sandoval County zoning-enforcement officer was then called to the scene. Upon investigation, the zoning officer observed numerous violations of county ordinances and notified the state of New Mexico Environment Department for an investigation on the contents of the barrels on the property.

The State Environmental Department arrived on scene on February 2, 2005, and conducted an investigation of the property. Investigators obtained samples of the soil which were sent to a laboratory in Santa Fe for analysis. Charges for environmental pollution are pending results of the soil samples.

 

Fracas terminates Grants-versus-Bernalillo basketball game

Signpost staff

Anyone who pays an attention at all to the local media has heard about disorderly Bernalillo fans who were blamed for a near-riot that ended the Grants-versus-Bernalillo basketball game. Forty-six-year-old Bernalillo resident, Larry Archibeque was arrested and faces thirteen charges including aggravated battery on a police officer. He is suspected of throwing a can of soda onto the basketball court. Archibeque’s daughters were cited for disorderly conduct. The game was awarded to Grants because they were leading 70 to 33 when the fracas broke out. The quality of officiating was questionable.

Even though the Grants police department had bolstered security because of a long-standing and escalating rivalry between the two schools, mutual taunting among the fans got out of hand before police officers started dragging people out of the stands and hustling the teams into the locker rooms. No Bernalillo students or athletes were arrested.

The Albuquerque Journal reported that earlier in the month, eight Bernalillo students were rejected from a Socorro game when they engaged a bit too enthusiastically in the traditional verbal abuse among fans (which consists mostly of trading personal insults). Earlier in the season, a fight broke out among fans at a Bernalillo home game. A vocal segment of the fan base is garnering a lot of bad press for the school. This comes when Bernalillo’s defending state basketball team is making a strong finish to a difficult season. Over the weekend of February 19 and 20, BHS hosted, without incident, the state wrestling championships and a basketball game versus Cobre. Acting Superintendent Barbara Vigil-Lowder said that all the future games will be played as scheduled, however, the NMEA has announced that the District finals, originally scheduled to be played in Grants, will be held at a neutral site.

 

Family-law workshop in Albuquerque

There will be a family-law workshop on Wednesday, March 9, at 6:00 p.m., at the State Bar of New Mexico, 5121 Masthead NE, Albuquerque.

The workshop will include a presentation by volunteer attorney Thomas Mucci on family-law issues such as divorce, child custody, child support, and visitation. Mucci will explain options and available services and answer questions.

The event is open to the public, free of charge, as a community service. Call 1-800-876-6227 or (505) 797-6048 for details.

The State Bar of New Mexico Lawyers Care program and the New Mexico Civil Legal Services Commission sponsor this program. This working partnership helps educate the public on family-law issues and the resources available to meet legal needs.

 

National database company releases personal information about 145,000 consumers to fraudsters

ChoicePoint, a national firm that maintains databases containing virtually every American’s consumer data, announced that thieves posing as legitimate businesses obtained access to the personal information of almost 145,000 consumers, including 935 New Mexicans. 

“ChoicePoint collects personal information on practically every single American consumer and sells this information to private companies and government agencies. This company knows almost everything there is to know about you,” said Madrid. “The size of this security breach is almost beyond comprehension. This is the ‘Exxon Valdez’ of privacy.”

Because of the number of consumers whose information was released, Attorney General Madrid urges all New Mexicans to immediately check their credit reports. “These information thieves accessed ChoicePoint information databases that contained basic telephone directory-type information that included names, addresses and phone numbers. More importantly, they also got access to databases containing social security numbers, driver’s license numbers and, at times, ‘abbreviated credit reports.’ The criminals were also able to obtain other public information, such as bankruptcies, liens and judgments, professional licenses and property data.”

“Don’t wait until you’ve already fallen victim to identity theft,’ warned Attorney General Madrid. “Get your credit report now and review it for any newly-opened accounts or loans that you did not authorize.”

In early February, shortly after investigating the theft of consumers’ information, ChoicePoint sent notices to each of the 144,778 consumers who may have been affected alerting them of the situation.  Consumers who receive notices are instructed to call a special toll-free hotline set up by ChoicePoint.  The company also announced in the letter that it will purchase credit reports from all three credit reporting agencies for every individual affected and will pay for a full year of a credit monitoring service to those consumers whose information was stolen.

Even though all of the 144,778 consumers may not be actual victims of identity theft, law enforcement officials have notified ChoicePoint that approximately 750 consumers nationwide have been identified as having their information compromised.  On February 17, Los Angeles police announced the arrest of a suspect from Nigeria who pled no contest in California State Court in connection with the ChoicePoint theft and was sentenced to 16 months in prison.

Consumers can get a free copy of their credit report by going to the website, www.AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling toll-free 1-877-322-8228.

 

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