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Crime

Accused murderer pleads not guilty

A man accused of strangling two Albuquerque men and then burning their bodies at Pajarito Mesa went before a judge Friday.

Jessie Young pleaded not guilty to the murder of Alejandro and Alfonso Garcia.

The judge kept Young's bond at $1 million - cash only.

Deputies found the men's bodies in a burned car on the Pajarito Mesa in April.

Investigators said Young and Vincente Gutierrez killed the men over a 150 dollar drug debt.

Deputies are still looking for Gutierrez. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts should call police.

MDC seeks public input on man's whereabouts

The Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center is seeking information from the public concerning the location of the 24-year-old Issac Enrique Ramirez. He may also be known as Isreal Macias.

Authorities describe him as just under six feet tall and weighing 165 lbs. with brown eyes and short brown hair. Ramirez also has distinctive tattoos including an "XG” and "Selena" on his neck, "Nuevo" on his right arm, "Mexico" and" 24/7" on his left arm and “Only God Can Judge Me” on his chest.

He was last seen wearing black shoes, blue jeans, a white T-shirt and carrying a black long sleeve T-shirt.

Couple charged with murder plead not guilty

Two people accused in a deadly Albuquerque double-shooting pleaded not guilty in court Friday.

Shalaka Booker pleaded not guilty to murder charges this morning.

A judge set her bond at $750,000 - cash only.

Her boyfriend, Alfonso Thompson, also entered a not guilty plea to his murder charges.

His bond was set at a cash only $1 million..

Police said back in April, booker lost a tooth in a fight with the victims - 26-year-old Naomi Trujillo and 25-year-old May Valerio.

Police said Booker and Thompson later returned to the victims' apartment near Lomas and Louisiana where Thompson shot both of them.

Man linked to city government drug ring arrested

At least one Albuquerque Housing Authority worker has been arrested who is linked to a possible a drug ring within city government.

Patrick Vargas was arrested Thursday morning under bribery and intimidation of a witness charges and booked into jail around 6:30 p.m.

Even though Vargas wasn't arrested for drug offenses, KOB Eyewitness News 4 sources confirm that the arrest is linked to a drug investigation.

And according to a criminal complaint, Albuquerque Police detectives suspect Patrick Vargas of selling oxycodone, steroids, heroin and cocaine. The complaint also indicates Vargas may have been doing it during work hours, and on taxpayers dime.

Vargas works as a stock keeper for the Family and Community Services Department. As many as seven Albuquerque city employees are part of the ongoing large-scale drug investigation.

 

High court reverses evidence suppression decision

The New Mexico Supreme Court has granted Attorney General Gary King's appeal to reverse a lower court's decision to suppress evidence in a 2005 Albuquerque double homicide case.

That means the key piece of evidence can now be used to link a suspect with the crime.

Former mortgage loan officer Ronald Santiago is charged with the murders of Greg and Bernadette Ohlemacher.

Santiago has twice appealed the admission of a Ruger 9mm handgun shell casing, which was found during a search of his house, which police said matched the casings found inside the Ohlemacher home.

Santiago argued for suppression on the grounds that a daytime search warrant was issued to execute a nighttime search, court documents state. And he later argued that the warrantless sweep was an unreasonable search

Former Bernalillo County District Court Judge Pat Murdoch granted those motions, a decision which prompted King to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Fire strikes Albuquerque homes

The Albuquerque Fire Department responded to two house fires that occurred early Saturday morning.

One fire broke out at a home on the 500 block of Coal around 1:45 a.m..

Crews said the roof collapsed after they arrived.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 was told that no one lived in the home, but that the homeowner used it for storage.

No official cause of the fire has been pinpointed yet, but arson investigators are looking into the incident.

Neighbor Kathy Grassel said she believes there was something suspicious going on around the area right before the fire started.

"With my dog going outside and barking furiously at something over the fence," she said. "It would have had to been something going on because she's not like that."

Grassel said just minutes after that she saw smoke and the fire department showed up.

Espanola cop faces DWI charges

An Espanola Police Officer faces drunk driving charges in Albuquerque.

James Gallegos, 34, of Ojo Caliente, was pulled over early Friday morning after police say he ran a red light at Coors and Sequoia.

Gallegos told police that he had drank three to four beers at the Effing Bar.

He's also charged with negligent use of a firearm because a loaded gun was found in his car.

Gallegos is on administrative leave.

>Read the criminal complaint.