Albuquerque police have arrested a former Republican House candidate in connection with recent pictures in the houses of Democratic lawmakers.
At a press conference Monday night, Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina announced that Solomon Pena, 39, is in police custody following a standoff with SWAT in southwest Albuquerque Monday afternoon.
“He’s supposed to be the mastermind behind it and he orchestrated it,” Medina told reporters in front of a projected image of Pena wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hoodie in front of two Trump flags.
“We are very grateful that we were able to take this man into custody and hopefully bring some relief to those who were affected and to all of our legislators, especially with the state legislature starting tomorrow,” Medina said.
Police said Pena is accused of conspiring with four other men and paying them to shoot up the homes of 2 county commissioners and 2 state legislators.
Investigators said five people were involved in the plot and that Pena was directly involved in the final shooting. Evidence against Pena includes firearms, cell phone and electronic records, surveillance footage and numerous witnesses, investigators said.
The investigation into the shooting is still ongoing.
Pena’s arrest comes after an unidentified suspect believed to be connected to at least one of the shootings was taken into custody last week.
The executions Police said it began in early December, when eight shots were fired at the home of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adrian Barboa. A few days later, someone shot at the home of former Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley.
Technology that can detect the sound of gunfire also showed gunshots near the former office of New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torres. Police found no damage.
Several shots also rang out at the home of state Sen. Linda Lopez — the lead sponsor of the 2021 bill that would repeal New Mexico’s ban on most abortion procedures — and downtown, where state Sen. Mo Maestas’ office is located. Maestas, an attorney, co-sponsored a bill last year to establish new criminal penalties for threatening state and local judges. It did not pass.
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