Courts

New Mexico Supreme Court Invites Citizens To Serve On Newly Created Commission On Equity And Justice

NMSC News:

SANTA FE — The state Supreme Court invites New Mexicans to apply to serve on a newly created Commission on Equity and Justice.

The Commission will study issues related to bias and inequities in the state’s justice system and promote diversity among judges and judicial employees. 

An order issued on Monday formally established the Commission on Equity and Justice as a permanent standing commission of the Supreme Court and outlined the framework of its voting and non-voting membership. Click here to view the order.

The Court earlier this year formed a steering committee, chaired by


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Vigilante Leader Sentenced In Las Cruces To 21 Months In Prison For Impersonating A Border Patrol Agent

FBI News:

ALBUQUERQUE James Christopher Benvie, 45, was sentenced Oct. 15 to 21 months in prison in Las Cruces on two counts of false personation of a Border Patrol agent.

A federal jury previously returned a guilty verdict March 3 toward Benvie. According to public court records and evidence at trial, Benvie was a leader and spokesperson for a group of vigilantes who established a “camp” at the Southwest border in Doña Ana County.

Many members of the group wore badges, camouflage and other military-style clothing, often covered their faces with masks, and carried pistols and assault rifles.


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New Mexico Supreme Court Approves Pretrial Detention Rule Changes To Enhance Public Safety

SUPREME COURT News: 

SANTA FE – The state Supreme Court has approved changes in New Mexico’s pretrial justice system to enhance public safety.

The Court issued orders last week to revise procedural rules governing when a person charged with a felony can be held in jail before trial. The rule amendments take effect for cases pending or filed on or after Nov. 23.

“As confirmed by independent evaluations, New Mexicans are safer today because of pretrial justice reforms implemented by the state Supreme Court in the past four years. Newly approved rule changes strengthen the reforms and further protect


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New Mexico Judiciary’s Chief Technology Officer Dick Wilkinson Honored By Albuquerque Business First’s ‘40 Under 40’

Dick Wilkinson

NMSC News:

ALBUQUERQUE — The New Mexico Judiciary’s Chief Technology Officer, Dick Wilkinson, was recently honored as one of Albuquerque Business First’s “40 Under 40”, a yearly award given for professional achievement, contributions to the community and leadership skills.

“The Administrative Office of the Courts is so proud of Dick Wilkinson’s recognition by Albuquerque Business First as one of their “40 Under 40” this year,” Director Artie Pepin said. “Dick is highly professional and highly valued by the AOC.  He is respected and appreciated by judges and court


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JPEC: Your Vote Shapes Our Judiciary

By DENISE TORRES
and JAMES HALL
New Mexico Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission

Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president emerita of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), may have said it best: “Democracy is not a spectator sport”.

This fall, you can have a voice in shaping New Mexico’s judiciary by voting whether or not to retain one New Mexico Court of Appeals judge and seven district court judges in the First Judicial District, which includes Los Alamos, Rio Arriba and Santa Fe counties.

In New Mexico, judges must first run in and win a partisan election, whether they have been


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Judicial Compensation Commission Meeting Live Streamed On New Mexico Courts YouTube Page Wednesday

NMSC News:

SANTA FE — The Judicial Compensation Commission will hold an online meeting next week to consider possible recommendations to the 2021 Legislature concerning judicial salaries.

The meeting will be live streamed on the New Mexico Courts YouTube page, at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 14.

The independent six-member commission is required by state law to annually recommend a judicial pay plan to the Legislative Finance Committee and the Department of Finance and Administration.

The commission is chaired by Sergio Pareja, dean of the University of New Mexico School of Law. Other members


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WildEarth Guardians File Lawsuit Over Antiquated Federal Wildlife Killing Program In New Mexico

WEG News:

SANTA FE — WildEarth Guardians sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Wildlife Services” over its outdated wildlife-killing program in New Mexico.

The program—formerly called “Animal Damage Control”—relies on scientific studies and data from the 1970s and 80s and has never prepared an Environmental Impact Statement for its activities in New Mexico.

Last year, Wildlife Services killed over 1.2 million native animals across the U.S. In New Mexico nearly 10,000 animals were killed in 2019, mostly native mammals and birds. Preferred methods include leghold traps, strangulation


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Los Alamos Magistrate Judge Pat Casados Re-Elected President Of New Mexico Magistrate Judges Association

Magistrate Judge Pat Casados re-elected president of New Mexico Magistrate Judges Association. LADP file photo

COURT News:

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Magistrate Judges Association has elected new officers and board members to serve one-year terms.

Los Alamos County Magistrate Judge Pat A. Casados was re-elected president, an office she has held for the past four years.

Lea County Magistrate Court Judge David Finger, Lovington, was selected vice president; Lincoln County Magistrate Judge Katie Lund, Ruidoso, secretary/treasurer and retired Torrance County Magistrate Judge Steve Jones,


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New Mexico Securities Division Joins CFTC To Charge Precious Metals Dealers Metals.com And Barrick Capital Inc. In $185 Million Scheme Targeting Elderly Investors

STATE News:

SANTA FE – The Securities Division of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department announced Wednesday that it is participating in a consolidated nationwide enforcement action to halt a fraudulent precious metals scheme that has solicited $185 million from at least 1,600 seniors and other investors.

The New Mexico Securities Division has joined the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and 29 other states in filing a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas alleging Metals.com and Barrick Capital Inc. defendants solicited $185 million


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FBI: Gang Member ‘Baby G’ Pleads Guilty To Racketeering

FBI News:

ALBUQUERQUE – Jonathan “Baby G” Gomez, a member of the Syndicato de Nuevo Mexico prison gang, pleaded guilty Sept. 25 to a racketeer influenced and corrupt organization (RICO) indictment.

The indictment, to which Gomez pleaded guilty, details various acts and communications since 2002 in which Gomez participated in relation to his membership in the organization.

As described in the indictment, those communications discussed gang business, including illicit activities, and coordinated acts of violence, some of which were facilitated, directed or ordered by Gomez.

Gomez faces


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