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Public Safety

  • Chicago man arrested in Texas for NM killings

    TUCUMCARI, N.M. (AP) — A 33-year-old Chicago man has been arrested in the killings of two men at a Tucumcari, N.M., hotel.

    New Mexico state police spokesman Eric Garcia said Monday that Muziwokuthula "Muzie" Madonda was arrested without incident in Conroe, Texas outside of Houston on two counts of murder and tampering with evidence.

    It's unclear whether he has a lawyer.

    Madonda is awaiting extradition back to New Mexico to face the charges, which stem from the deaths of 37-year-old Gabriel Baca and 57-year-old Bobby Gonzales, both of Tucumcari.

    A family member who looked through a window at the Tucumcari Inn found the men's bodies Thursday.

    It's unclear how the men were killed.

  • NM man faces charges in Rio Arriba Co. double murder

    ESPANOLA, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Police say a 28-year-old Ojo Caliente man has been arrested in connection with a double homicide in Rio Arriba County.

    Police say Donald Ferran is facing first-degree murder and tampering with evidence charges in the deaths of 27-year-old Sarah Salazar and 25-year-old Joey Maestas.

    The victims' burned bodies were found after firefighters extinguished a vehicle fire in the early hours of Feb. 28th along U.S. 285 between Espanola and Ojo Caliente.

    Agents with the state police criminal investigations bureau were called to the scene and began an in-depth investigation into what lead up to the vehicle fire. Agents found evidence that led them to believe it was a double homicide.

  • Border agent shot man in back 3 times

    PHOENIX (AP) — A Mexican man was climbing a ladder at an Arizona-Mexico border wall when a Border Patrol agent fatally shot him three times in the back, a sheriff's spokeswoman told The Associated Press on Monday.

    Cochise County sheriff's investigators have no indication that Carlos La Madrid, 19, assaulted or tried to assault the agent when he was shot March 21, said agency spokeswoman Carol Capas.

    La Madrid had fled police in the Arizona border city of Douglas in a truck and drove to the border with Mexico. He was climbing a ladder and trying to cross the border, and another man atop the wall began throwing rocks at the pursuing agent, Capas said.

  • Radiation in Mass. rainwater likely from Japan

    BOSTON (AP) — Health officials said Sunday that one sample of Massachusetts rainwater has registered very low concentrations of radiation, most likely from the Japanese nuclear power plant damaged earlier this month by an earthquake and tsunami.

    John Auerbach, the Massachusetts commissioner of public health, said that radioiodine-131 found in the sample — one of more than 100 that have been taken around the country — has a short life of only eight days. He said the drinking water supply in the state was unaffected and officials do not expect any health concerns.

    Nevada and other Western states also have reported minuscule amounts of radiation, but scientists say those presented no health risks.

  • Gaps in US radiation monitoring system revealed--video extra

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Parts of America's radiation alert network have been out of order during Japan's nuclear crisis, raising concerns among some lawmakers about whether the system could safeguard the country in a future disaster.

    Federal officials say the system of sensors has helped them to validate the impact of nuclear fallout from the overheated Fukushima reactor, and in turn alert local governments and the public. They say no dangerous levels of radiation have reached U.S. shores.

  • Regulators to assess safety at Ariz. nuclear plant

    PHOENIX (AP) — Utility regulators in Arizona set a Tuesday hearing with the operators of the nation's largest nuclear power plant to assess safety procedures there in the wake of Japan's nuclear accident.

    The hearing before the Arizona Corporation Commission will focus on the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Wintersburg, located about 50 miles west of downtown Phoenix.

    The triple-reactor plant supplies electricity to about 4 million customers in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and California.

    The nuclear crisis in Japan also has prompted the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to launch a review of U.S. nuclear plants.

  • Los Alamos County medical director found dead

    New Mexico State Police located the body of Los Alamos County medical director Thursday afternoon near Ghost Ranch.

    Dr. Laura Kay, a resident of Rio Rancho, provided programmatic oversight and training of the various components of the EMS system.

    She was the subject of a missing person alert that was issued at 11 p.m. Wednesday after she failed to return home from work, said Los Alamos Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Sleik.

    Law enforcement was able to locate Kay's car Thursday through her OnStar communications system. State Police went to the location and discovered Kay's body near her car.

    The cause of death appears to be from a gunshot. A note was found on the front seat of her car, Sleik said.

  • Police Beat 03-22-11

    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.

    March 10

    3:50 p.m. – Elier Rojo, 21, of Santa Fe was arrested on Trinity Drive and charged with false evidence regarding a vehicle title.
    5:11 p.m. – A 56-year-old Los Alamos man reported being the victim of burglary and larceny after someone stole a laptop from his vehicle parked in the 100 block of Camino Entrada. The estimated loss is more than $500.
    March 11

  • County crime dips in 2010 - video included

    Hot off the press, the Los Alamos Police Department’s 2010 annual report released today shows that local crime remained relatively level with a few areas in the report actually revealing lower numbers compared to 2009.

    “Los Alamos generally enjoys a reputation of being one of the lowest crime areas in Northern New Mexico and 2010 proved to be consistent with past years,” Capt. Randy Foster said. “Overall reports to LAPD were down again this year with less larcenies being reported, as was the case from 2008 to 2009.”

  • Burglaries at an all-time high in Santa Fe

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Repeat offenders are helping drive up residential burglaries in Santa Fe. The police department released numbers Monday showing residential burglaries were at a 15-year high in 2010.

    There were 876 residential burglaries investigated in the city limits in 2010, up 7 percent from the 820 in 2009.

    Police Capt. Gerald Rivera says officers arrest a lot of the same guys over and over for burglary.

    Rivera says burglaries are not really considered violent offenses and judges seem reluctant to give burglars any real time in prison.

    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the city's Property Crimes Division has recently compiled an unofficial list of about 50 people considered the most problematic repeat offenders.