Public Safety

  • Twenty drug charges filed against White Rock man

    Steven Porter, a 46-year-old White Rock man who is facing 20 charges involving controlled substances — 13 felonies and seven misdemeanors — made his first court appearance before Magistrate Judge Pat Casados Tuesday.

    Porter, who was arrested last weekend, was held on a $102,000 bond.
    Bond was posted Tuesday and Porter was released from the Los Alamos Detention Center at 9 a.m. Wednesday, according to magistrate court clerk John Baca.

    Porter’s next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 2.
    Baca said Wednesday that Porter did not yet have a lawyer.
    Police seized the drugs in Porter’s home after obtaining a search warrant to look for evidence to connect Porter to a rash of damage to property incidents. Police subsequently amended the search warrant to seize the controlled substances after they were found on Porter’s property.
    This all started apparently in 2012.
    According to the statement of probable cause, the Pajarito Acres Homeowners Association obtained a final judgment order from the First Judicial Court to have Porter tear down a structure, which was a covered patio, that he had built on his property located within Pajarito Acres in the 200 block of Rio Bravo. The court ruled that the patio was against the association’s bylaws.

  • Los Alamos girl found

    Rosa Betts, 17, a junior at Los Alamos High School, was found Friday night after missing for close to 30 hours.
    A family spokesman and Los Alamos Police Friday confirmed she had been located.
    Betts had been missing since 11 a.m. Thursday, according to her father Stephen Betts of Los Alamos.
    “We showed her photo to some teens today and they said they had seen her. But the last time her parents saw her was at the high school,” Stephen Betts said.
    Betts said police were notified Thursday night.

  • Rio Arriba County sheriff arrested

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A northern New Mexico sheriff who has had brushes with scandal throughout his career was arrested Friday on charges alleging he assaulted a man with a gun following a high-speed chase, according to authorities and court records.
    FBI spokesman Frank Fisher confirmed Rio Arriba County Sheriff Thomas Rodella and his son, Thomas, Jr., were arrested in their Espanola home but he wouldn’t say why.
    Federal court documents filed Tuesday, however, say both men were indicted on charges of conspiracy and falsifying records related to the March incident.The men, the indictment said, engaged “in a high-speed pursuit and unreasonable seizure” of a motorist identified only as M.T.
    The sheriff was not in uniform when he jumped out of his Jeep SUV with a silver revolver in hand, court papers said.
    “Rodella assaulted M.T. with a silver revolver while M.T. continually begged not to be shot,” the indictment said.
    U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez and FBI Special Agent in Charge Carol Lee planned a news conference Friday morning.
    A lawyer for Rodella didn’t immediately return a phone message and email from The Associated Press.

  • Police Beat 08-13-14

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, server a court summons, or issued a citation.

    July 31

    3:07 p.m. ­—Raymond Martinez, 29, of Los Alamos was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia at 2064 42nd Street.

    5:23 p.m. — A 52-year-old Espanola man reported to police he was the victim of a car burglary at Crossroads.

    Aug. 1

    6:49 p.m. — A 36-year-old Los Alamos woman reported to police she was the victim of careless driving at 37th and Trinity Drive.

    7:20 a.m.—Daniel Hoffman, 54, of Rio Rancho was arrested for driving under the influence, fourth conviction at Airport Road.

    Aug. 4

    10:27 a.m. — Rowena MacDonald, 48, of Los Alamos was arrested on a municipal court warrant at the Los Alamos Justice Center.

    8:39 a.m. — A 54-year-old Los Alamos woman reported to police she was the victim of graffiti, (less than $1000) at Longview Drive.

    9:33 a.m. — A 22-year-old Santa Cruz man reported to police he was the victim of a vehicle burglary at Central Avenue.

  • Cone Zone 08-10-14

     Central Avenue Improvements Project:
    Central Avenue continues to be fully closed between 15th Street and the Post Office driveway. Access to the Post Office will be maintained. Vehicles will be detoured to Deacon Street and the Main Street driveway into Central Park Square is also closed. A pedestrian crossing is located near Starbucks and additional pedestrian detours are posted; please use these detours and stay out of the work zone. Please use alternate business entrances including those along Deacon, 15th Street, 20th Street, and Nectar.
    The contractor continues working day and night crews in an effort to complete this section of the project as quickly as possible
    N.M. 502 / Trinity Storm Drain Improvements:
    Final roadway marking and striping at south leg of Knecht at Trinity is scheduled for Sunday, August 10, weather permitting. Expect minor traffic control at this intersection.
    Western Area Improvements Phase 2:
    Work continues on 46th Street and 47th Street off Trinity. Access to residences as well as services such as mail delivery, emergency services, trash and recycling collection will be maintained.
    Sound Wall between Tewa Loop and Airport Road:
    Shoulder work continues on the south side of East Drive; please do not park on the south side of East Drive.

  • Former Jemez Springs police chief charged with rape

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A former New Mexico police chief is facing charges that he raped a woman while she was in custody.
    A grand jury indicted fired Jemez Springs police chief Shane Harger on Thursday on charges of kidnapping, criminal sexual penetration, criminal sexual contact and extortion.
    State police arrested Harger at his Edgewood home.
    According to a complaint filed in January, the 19-year-old victim says she and three men were stopped by Jemez Springs police. The woman says Harger raped her while holding her at the police station for three hours.
    State police spokesman Emmanuel Gutierrez says an investigation found a “sexual act did occur.”
    Harger was fired in February over what town officials say was questionable judgment.
    An attorney for Harger says he is innocent of all charges.

  • Police Beat 08-05-14

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons, or issued a citation.

    July 24
    9:16 a.m. — A 30-year-old Los Alamos man reported to police that he was the victim of graffitti at Trinity Drive.

    July 27
    :56 p.m. — Andrea Herrera 30, of Los Alamos was arrested on a charge of petty larceny (less than $100) in the 700 block of Trinity Drive.
    July 28

    10:55 p.m.— Rachel Parker, 23, of Los Alamos was arrested for trespassing in the 700 block of Trinity Drive.
    July 29

    9:23 p.m. — Mario Dailey, 29, of Albuquerque was arrested on a charge of unlawful use of a license in the 3000 block of Arkansas Avenue.

    10:02 p.m. — A 17-year-old Los Alamos teen reported to police that he was the victim of aggravated assault at the intersection of Cañada Way and Grand Canyon Drive.
    July 30

    2:11 p.m. — An 89-year-old Los Alamos woman reported to police she was the victim of fraud (more than $250, less than $20,000) at Trinity Drive.

  • LAFD promotes two

    Fire Chief Troy Hughes announced Monday that two members of LAFD have been promoted.
    Jeff Wetteland has been promoted to Battalion Chief, in charge of the Fire & Life Safety Division.
    Wetteland began his career with LAFD in July 2001 and was promoted to captain in April 2009. Wetteland will serve as the county’s Fire Marshal.
    Jeff Saiz has been promoted to captain. He was hired in January 2006 and promoted to Driver/Engineer in February 2011.
    Hughes said both promotions were necessary because of the upcoming departure of LAFD’s Fire Marshal Brian Nickerson, who has accepted the Fire Chief’s position in Moscow, Idaho.
    “The Los Alamos County Fire Department is very fortunate to have such a talented group of individuals ready and able to step into leadership roles when one becomes vacant,” said Hughes.
    Wetteland will be working with outgoing Nickerson for the next two weeks and may be reached at the Los Alamos County Fire Administration Offices by calling 662-8301.
    Saiz will be assigned to the fire operations division where he will lead a crew of responders at one of the department’s five fire stations.  

  • More wet weather expected; Flash flooding a possibility


    The National Weather Service is forecasting a high probability of heavy rainstorms that may cause potential for more flash flooding in Northern and Central New Mexico, including Los Alamos.

    The advisory said clusters of storms will develop first over the mountains, then a broad cluster or line of storms should sink slowly southward in the vicinity of the central mountain chain during the evening and overnight hours.

    The timing should be between noon and 6 a.m. Wednesday.

    Impacts include:

    ·      Stronger storms will produce torrential downpours with rain at rates over 1 inch per half hour

    ·      Many locations have saturated soils from recent heavy rains, and these locations will need only moderate rain for flash flooding to develop today.  This includes the Las Conchas, Whitewater- Baldy and Little Bear burn scars.

  • Details emerge in fatal crash

    A police report detailing a fatal Main Street car accident revealed that the victim was hit when then the driver of the car, Steve Fode, backed his pickup truck without looking.
    The report said that on July 16, around 11 a.m., Fode was approaching the intersection from Main Street and Central Avenue via Main Street when he realized he couldn’t turn left onto Central Avenue due to the construction.
    According to eyewitnesses at the scene, the accident victim, 73-year-old Emily Mares-Lang, waited at the crosswalk for Fode’s truck to pass her. She had just left the post office and was on the crosswalk behind Fode’s truck when Fode “reversed at a high rate of speed,” and hit her with his Chevrolet pickup truck, according to witnesses. According to Fode, he was trying reverse his truck in order to make a U-turn when he hit Mares-Lang.
    Officers at the scene were unable to interview Mares-Lang due to her injuries. She was immediately transported to the Los Alamos Medical Center then later to CHRISTUS St. Vincent Medical Center in Santa Fe.