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Fraud scheme hits City of Albuquerque

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Crooks get $400k of taxpayer cash

ALBUQUERQUE – The Office of the State Auditor became aware April 6 that the City of Albuquerque was defrauded in a scam the OSA sent an alert about earlier this week.

The City complied with a fraudulent request to change vendor payment information that diverted at least $400,000 in...

Milan man dies in car accident

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Possible DWI-related fatality

As Salvador Araujo was exiting from Sun Loans in Tse Bonito onto east Highway 264 on the afternoon of April 3, his vehicle was struck by Shad Etsitty, who according to witness statements, was traveling down 264 at a high rate of speed, weaving in and out of traffic.

Araujo was pronounced dead at the scene, at 3:40 pm.

According to the accident report, compiled by McKinley County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Joseph Guillen, the damage to Araujo’s vehicle and body was significant. He was pinned in the driver seat by the driver door and steering wheel, and had sustained visible head injuries and a possible chest injury.

Navajo Nation Lt. Moore told deputies...

ABQ man jailed on drug possession, warrant, resisting arrest charges

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An Albuquerque man, already facing resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia charges, might be looking at a separate assault upon a police officer charge, too, after a recent incident, officials said. The culprit in the situation remains jailed at the McKinley County Adult Detention Center on a $2,000 reduced bond amount, according to jail records.

Rudy Martinez-Zepeda, 25, was taken into custody by a female deputy with the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office on March 26 when MCSO was called to the Thoreau Giant Station. There, Deputy Lasheena Johnson encountered Zepeda and his mother, Lorraine Zepada, who were stopped at the station after a visit to a friend’s...

Vehicle accident leads to drug bust

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When McKinley County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Robert Turney arrived at the scene of an accident at Twin Buttes Road, it was to assist deputies already investigating the non-injury crash March 26.

He saw that the other deputies were safely away from the road speaking with the driver, 38-year-old Tyrannus White, when he decided to scour the area for other possible victims. But, he was instead distracted by one set of “distinct tennis shoe” tracks that led around the vehicle and back towards the road, as noted in his report.

“I observed in plain view within the vehicle several small marijuana cigarette parts, two orange colored rolling paper packs, a small digital scale, an ignition...

Man arrested in courtroom fight

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Some bad words from two men at District Court March 22 for separate cases erupted into a fight, with one litigant said to another, “I’m going to kill you,” according to a police report.

The incident happened just after District Court Judge Louis DiPauli, Jr., recessed a domestic violence hearing involving Michael Williams, 37, and Amy Lucero, 37.

Lucero and Bryan Burrola are litigants in a 2016 case involving stolen credit cards that belonged to a dead woman from California. That case is separate from the domestic one dealing with Williams and Lucero.

Burrola, 40, was working for a tow company at the time and stole the dead female’s credit cards and Lucero used the cards to...

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