Los Alamos Police Commander Faces Poaching Charges; Jailer Faces Battery with Deadly Weapon

Los Alamos Police Commander Preston Ballew

Los Alamos Daily Post

A citation was filed Nov. 22 in Alamogordo Magistrate Court against Los Alamos Police Commander Preston Ballew.

Ballew, 36, was charged with two counts of unlawful hunting or fishing (killing elk) and one count of vehicle travel under habitat protection act (trespassing.) Ofc. Jason Kline issued Ballew the citation Oct. 7.

Ballew is commander of the Los Alamos Bomb Squad. The Alamogordo Magistrate Court clerk said this morning that an arraignment for Ballew is scheduled for Dec. 10 in Alamogordo.

In a second case obtained by the Los Alamos Daily Post, Los Alamos Police Detention Ofc. Kevin Trujillo was arrested Aug. 17 in Espanola. State Police Ofc. Emmanuel Rodriguez arrested Trujillo, 32, and charged him with aggravated battery against a household member with a deadly weapon.

Trujillo’s attorney Marc Walke Edwards said during an interview Monday that his client may have had an argument but there was no aggravated battery or even battery committed.

“The way it was reported wasn’t accurate so I’m working with the district attorney’s office on a possible resolution,” Edwards said, adding that the state has filed a dismissal without prejudice, meaning the case can be refiled.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Pustay confirmed Monday that he has been in contact with Trujillo’s attorney.

“There was a case filed in Magistrate Court charging him (Trujillo) with felonies and it was dismissed in Magistrate Court so we can review the case and possibly take it to the grand jury,” Pustay said. “The current status of the case is that it’s still under review.”

New Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone addressed the situation during an interview with the Los Alamos Daily Post late Monday.

“Both situations are under review and I will address each appropriately once the reviews are completed,” Sgambellone said.                           

Both Trujillo and Ballew remain on duty, he said.