Courts

FBI: Man From Las Cruces Sentenced To 12 Years In Federal Prison For Attempting To Coerce And Entice A Child

FBI News:

ALBUQUERQUE — Ismael Valdez, 38, of Las Cruces was sentenced July 19 in Federal Court to 12 years in prison for attempted coercion and enticement of a child. Valdez pleaded guilty to these charges Aug. 27, 2020.

According to his plea agreement, between April 29, 2020, and May 29, 2020, Valdez met and messaged an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a 13-year-old girl on a social networking application.

During the conversations, Valdez sent sexually explicit material to “the child” and asked her to send sexually explicit material to him. Valdez arranged to meet with the child


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FBI: Artesia Couple Charged In Connection To Bank Robbery

FBI News:

ALBUQUERQUE — Roman Andrew Poulsen, 39, and Lori Crapo, 40, both of Artesia, appeared in federal court July 16 on charges for their respective roles in a July 15 bank robbery.

Poulsen faces a charge of bank robbery while Crapo is accused of being an accessory after the fact. The defendants will remain in custody pending a detention hearing.

According to a criminal complaint, Poulsen allegedly entered a Washington Federal Bank July 15 in Artesia with his face concealed by a mask, dark glasses and a hood. Poulsen allegedly handed a demand note to a teller, then fled the bank after the teller


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New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney’s Office Launches Courthouse Facility Dog Program

Courthouse Facility Dog Judge with his handlers, little helpers, District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, her wife Jo and members of Assistance Dogs of the West. Courtesy/Office of the District Attorney

From the Office of the District Attorney:

SANTA FE —The First Judicial District Attorney’s Office announces that it has launched a partnership with Assistance Dogs of the West (ADW), which has placed a Courthouse Facility Dog, aptly named Judge, with the office.

Assistance Dogs of the West is a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency that builds successful working partnerships between clients and dogs


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New Mexico Supreme Court Rules Gasoline Stations May Be Liable For Selling Fuel To Intoxicated Drivers

The State Supreme Court rules today that gasoline stations in New Mexico have a legal obligation not to sell fuel to a driver the retailer ‘knows or has reason to know’ is intoxicated. Post file photo

New Mexico Supreme Court News:

SANTA FE – Gasoline stations in New Mexico have a legal obligation not to sell fuel to a driver the retailer “knows or has reason to know” is intoxicated, the state Supreme Court ruled today.

Under the divided decision by the state’s highest court, commercial gasoline vendors may be liable for negligently supplying gasoline to a drunken driver who injured other people.


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FBI: Albuquerque Couple Sentenced To Prison For Crimes Committed In Connection With Ayudando Guardians Case

FBI News:

ALBUQUERQUE — Susan K. Harris, 74, and William S. Harris, 60, both of Albuquerque, were sentenced Friday in Federal Court for conspiracy to defraud the United States and other financial crimes committed in connection with the operation of Ayudando Guardians, Inc., a non-profit corporation that previously provided guardianship, conservatorship and financial management to hundreds of people with special needs.

Susan Harris was sentenced to 47 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. William Harris was sentenced to 15 years in prison, followed by three


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New Mexico State Police Arrest Los Lunas High School Coach Johnathon Bindues For Child Exploitation

Johnathon M. Bindues

NMSP News:

Valencia County – The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was called Friday to investigate the sexual exploitation of a child case between an adult male and a 15-year-old female in Los Lunas.

During the investigation, State Police agents learned that between June 13-15, 2021, a parent discovered her 15-year-old daughter had been sexually communicating via cellphone through text messages, videos and photos with a male, identified as Johnathon M. Bindues, 30, of Los Lunas, who is the girls’ track and basketball coach at the Los Lunas High School.

Agents


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Governor Appoints Briana Zamora To NM Supreme Court

Justice Briana H. Zamora 

From the Office of the Governor:

SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has appointed Briana H. Zamora of the New Mexico Court of Appeals to the state Supreme Court, closing the vacancy left by the Honorable Justice Barbara J. Vigil, who retired.

“Judge Zamora is an experienced jurist of the highest caliber with the kind of incredible work ethic mandatory for those who would serve on our state’s highest court,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “Her judicial experience, particularly on the appellate court, will serve her well in her new role, and New Mexicans can expect her to


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Governor Appoints Elaine P. Lujan To 2nd Judicial District

Judge Elaine P. Lujan 

From the Office of the Governor:

SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has announced the appointment of Elaine P. Lujan to fill a judgeship vacancy on the Second Judicial District Court.

Judge Lujan will replace Judge Clay Campbell, who has retired.

Lujan has served as an attorney associate in the civil division of the Second Judicial District Court since 2012, conducting legal research and analysis and making recommendations to civil judges on substantive, procedural and evidentiary law. Prior to that, Lujan worked in the state Attorney General’s Office.

Lujan attended


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Bureau Of Justice Statistics: U.S. Attorneys Investigate More Than 1,800 Hate Crime Suspects Between 2005 And 2019

DOJ News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. attorneys investigated 1,864 suspects in matters involving violations of federal hate crime statutes during fiscal years 2005 to 2019, the Bureau of Justice Statistics announced Wednesday. Hate crime suspects were referred for prosecution to U.S. attorneys from federal judicial districts in all 50 states.

Hate crimes are defined according to four statutes in the U.S. Criminal Code and collected by federal justice agencies. These include crimes in which the perpetrator selected the victim based on certain characteristics, such as race, color, religion


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More New Mexico Court Proceedings To Be Conducted In-Person Under Supreme Court Order

NMSC News:

SANTA FE — Under a New Mexico Supreme Court (NMSC) order, state courts are expanding the proceedings that will be conducted in-person as the New Mexico judicial branch of government continues to operate with public health precautions to protect the well-being of the public.

Except for jury trials, courts have conducted most proceedings since last year using audio-visual conferencing to eliminate the need for attorneys and litigants to enter a courthouse.

“State courts safely remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure critical justice services were available


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