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LA police arrest convicted burglar

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Crime > Nguyen taken into custody on school grounds

By Tris DeRoma

Aaron Nguyen, a former Los Alamos High School student, was arrested on school grounds Tuesday afternoon when officers were called by school staff.

Police located Nguyen on campus where he was arrested and charged with receiving/possessing stolen property (more than $2,500, less than $20,000) and tampering with evidence. He was also charged with criminal trespass.

The receiving stolen property charge carries a maximum fine of $5,000 and/or three years in prison and is classified as a third-degree felony. The tampering charge carries a maximum term of 18 months in prison and/or a $5,000 fine. Criminal trespass carries a maximum term of 364 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

Nguyen, 18, is being held without bond at the Los Alamos Detention Center for violating his probation. However, in Los Alamos Magistrate Court Wednesday morning, Judge Pat Casados assigned Nguyen a $9,000 cash-only bond.
In the event the New Mexico Corrections Department decides to release him or assign him a bond at his next appearance in district court, Nguyen will still have to make the $9,000 bond assigned by magistrate court.

Nguyen appeared at the hearing without an attorney present.

“I want to thank school staff for being vigilant and Cpl. Jordan Redmond (LAHS school resource officer) who had alerted school staff earlier this week to notify police if he was observed on campus,” Detective Sgt. Oliver Morris said.

In court Wednesday, Nguyen made a statement to the Los Alamos Monitor regarding his recent arrest.

“I know I made a mistake, he said. “It was so stupid of me to do that. But I’ve been so good about my probation down in Las Cruces; I’ve had no problems at all. What I need is a change of scenery I promise if I get out of this, I will never come back to Los Alamos again. It was so stupid of me to do that.”

Back in July, Nguyen accepted a plea deal in which he pleaded guilty to 16 counts for various offenses including burglary. The agreement states it’s a conditional discharge that includes five years of supervised probation, which includes GPS-monitored supervision for the first year, counseling and paying restitution to his victims.

At the time of that arrest, he was charged with four counts of aggravated burglary, since he was armed when he entered some of the houses in the commission of burglary, one count of burglary, six counts of larceny of a firearm, one count of larceny over $2,500, and four counts of larceny (more than $500 but less than $2,500). In all, Nguyen pleaded guilty to 16 counts.

During a prior hearing regarding his bond, it was revealed by Nguyen’s attorney, Steve Aarons that during the time of the burglaries Nguyen was suffering from bipolar disorder as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder. At that time, Aarons said he hoped those circumstances would factor into Nguyen’s sentence. “His condition does not affect his ability to know right from wrong,” Aarons said during his client’s earlier bond hearing, which took place in magistrate court in June. “He definitely did something wrong. This is the kind of case where we hope he gets put on some type of probation and the charges are dismissed after he satisfies his term of probation.”