Richard Atencio Charged With Stealing From LANL Heads To First Judicial District Court April 3

Staff Report

Richard Atencio, 53, of Espanola is slated for a plea hearing in First Judicial District Court April 3 on larceny and tampering with evidence charges in connection with property he allegedly stole in 2015 from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The criminal complaint, filed in Los Alamos Magistrate Court in April 2016, indicates that the value of the property was more than $2,500 and less than $20,000.

Police records indicate Los Alamos Police Cpl. Jack Casias received a telephone call Sept. 29, 2015 from LANL’s Security Investigation Team stating that a larceny had occurred at the Lab and that the stolen items were located behind a guardrail near TA-18.

They had allegedly received a call reporting someone throwing items over the guardrail, which when located included a band saw, conduit, heavy duty dollies, sponges and construction tape. The informant also relayed the license plate number of the vehicle believed to have been driven by the person throwing the items over the guardrail.

Casias also found a pair of gloves with initials on them. All items found were turned over to LANL radioactive control technicians due to the possibility of contamination and some were confirmed to be contaminated.

Another employee identified the gloves with the initials on them as his and LANL officials confirmed that this employee worked with Atencio the previous week. Atencio was checked for contamination because the gloves tested as being contaminated. After he gave Casias permission to look through his vehicle and trunk, Casias noticed the trunk cover was gone and that the trunk interior was the same color as the trunk cover found at the scene. Police later linked the trunk cover found at the scene to Atencio’s vehicle.

Oct. 5, 2015, Sgt. James Rodriguez inspected and searched the vehicle and found several items including a Smith & Wesson revolver in a holster, two Lab cryptocards and six .357 magnum bullets wrapped in a napkin.

Atencio waived his first appearance in Los Alamos Magistrate Court and was bound over last May to District Court.