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FBI: Shiprock Man Sentenced For Federal Theft

on July 4, 2015 - 6:41am
FBI News:
ALBUQUERQUE — Orlando Jay Johnson, 24, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, has been sentenced in federal court in Albuquerque to 12 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction on theft occurring in Indian Country.
Johnson was arrested Oct. 31, 2014, after officers of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety were called to a fast food restaurant in Shiprock in response to a report that an elderly Navajo man had been robbed of his wallet and money.
According to the criminal complaint, Johnson followed the

FBI: Arizona Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Wire Fraud Charges In New Mexico

on June 28, 2015 - 7:34am

FBI News:

ALBUQUERQUE—Joseph Lawler, 54, of Peoria, Ariz., entered a guilty plea in federal court in Albuquerque to a 12-count superseding indictment charging him with wire fraud offenses.

The guilty plea, which was entered without the benefit of a plea agreement, was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division.

Lawler pled guilty to all 12 counts of a superseding indictment that was filed on June 9, 2015, and alleged that between Aug.

Felon From Pojoaque Sentenced To Federal Prison For Unlawfully Possessing Ammunition

on June 26, 2015 - 11:42am

FBI News:

ALBUQUERQUE—Nicholas Mondragon, 32, of Pojoaque was sentenced late Thursday afternoon in federal court in Albuquerque to a year and a day in prison for being a felon in possession of ammunition.

Mondragon will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.

Mondragon pled guilty July 17, 2014, to a felony information charging him with being a felon in possession of ammunition. In entering the guilty plea, Mondragon admitted that Feb. 25, 2014, he purchased a box of ammunition in Las Vegas, N.M.

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján Applauds Supreme Court Decision In Support Of Marriage Equality

on June 26, 2015 - 10:04am

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement today on the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of marriage equality.

“With this decision, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed that equality is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution by stating very clearly that everyone deserves equal protection under the law. 

Marriage equality is matter of civil rights and treating all people who are in a loving and committed relationship fairly. 

Today is a momentous day for the millions

Udall On Supreme Court Health Insurance Decision

on June 25, 2015 - 11:57am
Sen. To Udall
U.S. SENATE News:            

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's 6-3 decision in King v. Burwell that residents of any state can receive health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

"I welcome the Supreme Court's decision in King v. Burwell, which preserves the insurance policies of millions of Americans. The Affordable Care Act has enabled tens of thousands of New Mexicans to get health insurance for the first time.

"It's making our state healthier — and stronger economically.

Letter To The Editor: Hold Judiciary Accountable

on June 23, 2015 - 7:56am
By Rep. Paul Pacheco 
Since the tragic death of Rio Rancho Police officer Gregg Benner, we’ve heard a lot about judicial accountability, oversight and transparency, all of which are woefully lacking when it comes to keeping violent repeat offenders off our streets.
Not long after our community was struck with the news of this travesty, we discovered that the career criminal accused in this crime was facing three indictments but instead was given early release from a possible 13-year prison sentence.
The deal that allowed Andrew Romero free represents a fundamental flaw in our

American Federation Of Teachers New Mexico Reacts To 1st District Court Denial Of PED Motion

on June 17, 2015 - 4:40pm

AFT News:

Ruling is a Victory for All New Mexico Educators, Parents and Students

ALBUQUERQUE – American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly released the following statement:

Today’s ruling from Judge Thomson is a victory for all of New Mexico’s educators, parents, students, and our communities. In denying Secretary Skandera and the Public Education Department’s request to dismiss this lawsuit, an explicit acknowledgement was made that this case, in fact, brings a challenge to the PED’s evaluation system which must be heard.

“Judge Thomson made the correct assessment

AG’s Anti-Money Laundering Unit Prosecutes Racketeer And Wins $100,000 In Restitution For Victims

on June 14, 2015 - 12:24pm

John Meister booking photo. Courtesy/OAG

OAG News:

ALBUQUERQUE The Anti-Money Laundering Unit of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has successfully prosecuted John Meister of New Mexico, resulting in $100,000 in restitution to victims.

The OAG Anti-Money Laundering Unit’s criminal investigation proved that Meister devised a scam to mislead two victims into bogus investment schemes while he was working for FedEx in 2013-2014.

Bernalillo County District Court has scheduled sentencing for Aug.

Los Alamos Probate Judge Addresses Rotary Club

on June 7, 2015 - 8:04am

At Tuesday's Rotary Club meeting at the golf course, Los Alamos County Probate Judge Christine Chandler presents a talk on the duties of her postion. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Los Alamos County Probate Judge Christine Chandler talks about her work during Tuesday's Rotary Club meeting. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

NM Hosts National Conference On Court Interpreters

on May 26, 2015 - 7:01am
SANTA FE  Managers of programs providing interpreting services for state courts across the country gathered in New Mexico last week for a national conference.
New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara J. Vigil and Artie Pepin, director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, officially opened the conference. Supreme Court Justice Edward L. Chávez delivered a keynote address.

Other New Mexico presenters included Paul Kippert, assistant general counsel with the Department of Finance and Administration, and Lisa Dignan and Roger Robb with the Commission for the

Emergency Funding For Magistrate Courts Denied

on May 25, 2015 - 2:57pm



SANTA FE – Administrative Office of the Courts Director Artie Pepin expressed disappointment Friday that the state Board of Finance denied a request for emergency funding of $750,000 for magistrate court operations in the final weeks of the current budget year.


AOC sought the emergency funding because magistrate courts do not have enough money to cover operating expenses through June after the governor vetoed a $750,000 supplemental appropriation approved by the Legislature. Lawmakers approved the money to address underfunding partly caused by a loss of revenues from

Director To Request $750,000 In Emergency Funding For Operations Of Magistrate Courts Through June

on May 19, 2015 - 11:48am

Scales of Justice. Courtesy image


Administrative Office of the Courts Director Artie Pepin will appear before the state Board of Finance Thursday to request emergency funding of $750,000 for operations of magistrate courts through June.

In April, the governor vetoed a $750,000 supplemental appropriation approved by the Legislature to address underfunding partly caused by a loss of revenues from vetoes in 2014.

Without the requested $750,000 emergency grant, according to Pepin, the AOC will not pay leases on court buildings for June and state insurance premiums.

Los Alamos Magistrate Court Docket May 11-26

on May 5, 2015 - 1:17pm
The following is the upcoming docket for Los Alamos County Magistrate Court:
Monday, May 11:
Judge: Pat A. Casados - Location: Los Alamos County Magistrate Court
8:15 a.m.
Defendant: Arturo Houston
Proceeding: First Appearance
Prosecutor:  NM District Attorney - 1st Santa Fe; Def Atty:; Officer: Ryan Wolking
8:30 a.m.
Defendant: Melissa V. Valdez-Romero
Proceeding: Jury Trial
Prosecutor: Kent Wahlquist; Def Atty: Thomas M. Clark; Officer: David J. Boe
Los Alamos County Magistrate Court Docket, Tuesday May 12:

Council Tentatively Approves Municipal Court Budget

on April 21, 2015 - 7:37pm

Los Alamos Municipal Judge Alan Kirk answers questions from Council on his proposed FY-2016 budget, which he reduced by 6 percent from his adopted FY2015 budget. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Los Alamos Municipal Judge Alan Kirk at the podium speaking with Council as County officials, staff and a few members of the public listen. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Staff Report

Los Alamos County Council voted 7-0 this evening to tentitively approve the proposed FY-2016 budget for the Los Alamos Municipal Court.

The Municipal Court makes up 1 percent of the general fund.

Los Alamos Federated Republican Women Meet At Justice Center Noon Wednesday

on April 13, 2015 - 12:20pm


The April meeting of the Los Alamos Federated Republican Women (LAFRW) is set for noon, Wednesday at Ashly Pond, for an abbreviated business meeting.

When the business meeting is concluded, The group will then tour the Justice Center and Municipal Judge Alan Kirk will present a talk about his responsibilities as judge and an overview of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, for which he is a co-founder and chairman. 

LAFRW will hold its business meeting first in conference room at the Justice Center.

Critical Funding Vetoed For Magistrate Courts

on April 10, 2015 - 6:57am

Courtesy/NM Courts




SANTA FE – Artie Pepin, director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, issued the following statement about court funding in HB2:


As for the overall budget, Pepin said: “The courts will receive a modest budget increase next year that is essential for fulfilling our responsibility to provide fair and timely justice for New Mexico’s citizens.”


“The Judiciary appreciates that the Governor agreed to state budget provisions that will provide a total increase of $627,700 next year for treatment services for drug courts statewide.

Judge Sentences Stephen M. Geisik Of Los Alamos To 364 Days In Jail In Child Molestation Case

on April 8, 2015 - 12:17pm
Staff Report

Judge Mary Marlowe-Sommer orders convicted child molester Stephen M. Geisik of Los Alamos to serve 364 days in the Los Alamos County Jail.

Geisik, 23, was facing more than 30 years in prison for his April 2012 charge of criminal sexual penetration of a child less than 13 years of age. Los Alamos police also charged Geisik, who was 21 years old at the time, with contributing to the delinquency of a child.

The judge sentenced Geisik for these crimes during a District Court hearing Monday at the Justice Center in Los Alamos.

"He was facing 3 years to 31.5 years," Prosecuting

AG Announces Completion of Internal Review Of Pending Litigation Involving Outside Counsel

on March 30, 2015 - 1:47pm
Attorney General Hector Balderas


  • AG confident that pending cases can move forward as meritorious

SANTA FE — Today New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announced the completion of an office-wide review of all pending litigation involving outside counsel.

Moving forward, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is committed to utilizing a set of best practices to ensure the Office takes on only meritorious cases that are in the best interest of New Mexicans, as stated in today's news release.

“As Attorney General, I am committed to operating an open and transparent

CASA: Make A Difference - Be A Child's Voice

on March 3, 2015 - 12:07pm
CASA News:
CASA is an organization that recruits and trains community volunteers to be strong advocates for children who have been abused.
Our advocates are the “eyes and ears” of the Court and report to the Judge as to the wellbeing of the children they are assigned to. Our volunteers make a difference in the lives of children who’ve been hurt and need a caring and trustworthy adult in their lives.
We are looking for individuals who are passionate about advocating for children, who can be objective and report the facts to the Court, and who can work as part of a team of

Electronic Payments Allowed For Court Fines, Fees

on February 27, 2015 - 12:04pm


SANTA FE – State courts have launched a new system allowing online payments of traffic tickets as well as fines and fees owed in criminal cases in magistrate courts and the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court.

Payments can be made from the following court website using a credit card or debit card:

“Our courts are providing a secure, convenient method for paying fines and fees,” said Artie Pepin, director of the Administrative Office of the Courts. “The electronic payment system saves time and money for the public.

Governor Appoints LAHS Graduate Jennifer Attrep To First Judicial District Court

on February 24, 2015 - 7:55pm

Jennifer Attrep. Courtesy photo


SANTA FE—Gov. Susana Martinez today announced the appointment of Los Alamos High School graduate Jennifer Attrep to the First Judicial District Court.

Attrep’s appointment fills the vacancy created by the non-retention of Judge Sheri Raphaelson. Attrep has previously served as a judge with the First Judicial District Court. She has a diverse background of legal experience, including criminal law, civil rights, contracts, securities and other areas.

Attrep holds a Bachelor of Arts from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., and a

Bartram Speaks On Teen Court

on February 14, 2015 - 9:26am

Jennifer Bartram

Los Alamos Kiwanis

Jennifer Bartram, coordinator of the Los Alamos Teen Court, provided an interesting summary of her work during a Feb. 3 talk to Kiwanis.

She handed out a one-page flyer, which included the following basic description:

“What is Teen Court? Teen Court is a nationally recognized early intervention and restorative justice program for juveniles (ages 12-18). It is a diversionary court that keeps first-time offenders with traffic infractions and misdemeanor offenses out of the traditional court system.

FBI: Shiprock Man Sentenced To Prison For Federal Assault Conviction

on February 4, 2015 - 9:14am

FBI News:
  • Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women

ALBUQUERQUE—Algar Horsechief, 27, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, was sentenced Tuesday to 36 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction on two assault charges.

Horsechief was arrested Aug.

It’s The Thinking, Not The Drinking! Effective Underage Drinking Prevention Talk At Smith Auditorium Thursday

on February 3, 2015 - 2:40pm

Tracy Juechter


Tracy Juechter, MA in school counseling, will be giving a demonstration of the Alcohol Literacy Challenge (ALC) underage drinking prevention program 5:30-6 p.m., Thursday at Duane Smith Auditorium.

The ALC has been proven to reduce underage and binge drinking in six published studies. The program challenges a person’s expectancies (i.e., beliefs) about alcohol by teaching that most of the good effects of drinking are caused by the mental associations a person has with alcohol, rather than the actual chemical effects alcohol causes in a person’s body.


Watch Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni Of Los Alamos On Video Offering Nuclear Weapons To Venezuela

on February 1, 2015 - 2:55pm

Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni meeting with 'Jimenez' in a hotel room. Screen shot/FBI video

FBI News:

In FBI undercover video and audio recordings, Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni of Los Alamos explains to undercover agent Jimenez that he had a "top of the top" clearance and that he held a security clearance from the Department of Defense and from the Department of Energy.

Mascheroni, 79, a naturalized U.S.