Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988
  Public Safety

Sandoval County Undersheriff Karl Wiese (left) and Lt. Keith Elder flank Placitas Café owner John Franklin as he shows off a plaque recognizing him for his support of the sheriff's office.The café acts as an unofficial substation for deputies who can meet with Placitas residents there, work on reports and hold shift briefings as they go on duty, Wiese said.
Photo credit: —Bill Diven

Fatal shooting update

—Signpost Staff

The fatal shooting at a Placitas residence, where lots of marijuana was being grown, remains under investigation, Sandoval County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Keith Elder told the Signpost.

No arrests have been made, and additional details of what happened in the home in southeastern Placitas on September 16 have not been released.

What is known is that James Garcia, 31, of Albuquerque, entered the home sometime around 4:00 a.m. and was apparently armed with a handgun. The homeowner, Mark Richardson, told deputies that Garcia assaulted and shot at him and that in the ensuing struggle he took the gun away and shot Garcia.

Investigators later obtained a search warrant for the property finding a large sum of cash and about two hundred marijuana plants under cultivation indoors, according to statements the sheriff’s office released at the time.

Richardson, a licensed medical-marijuana patient, suffered a gash on his head and a broken hand, his attorney said.

Rio Rancho bottle scare

—Jessica Duron-Martinez

The Rio Rancho Fire and Rescue Department was dispatched around 9:00 a.m. to the area of 14th Avenue SE to a residence for reports of an unknown dark bottle that contained crystals that were formalizing. Those at the residence informed the department that they were cleaning out a shed that belonged to another family member and came across the unknown bottle. The Albuquerque Bomb Squad was called out and they buried the bottle and ignited it. There were no indications that the bottle was an explosive. The department has determined the area in question is now safe.

Police information exchange program in Rio Rancho

—Michael Geier, Chief, Rio Rancho Police Department

The “Police Information Exchange” (PIE) will be having monthly gatherings through December. The program has been created in an effort to foster the development of crime prevention programs, and to keep our neighborhoods, families, and businesses safe from crime and secure from all threats. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for our citizens by encouraging citizens to be good neighbors and assisting the Rio Rancho Police Department in identifying crime.

The Department would like to provide a variety of educational and training opportunities to the citizens we serve and establish a social gathering location for connecting and communicating. We will also strive to provide transparency to the general public. By partnering together, crime can be prevented or reduced and the overall quality of life can be improved.

The next meeting, “Discouraging break-ins at home,” will be on November 17, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., in the Loma Colorado Library Conference Room—755 Loma Colorado Boulevard, Rio Rancho. The next one, “Self-protection for women,” will be held on December 7, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the same place. For further information, contact

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