United States District Court, D. New Mexico
Federici Attorney for the United States Acting Under
Authority Conferred by 28 U.S.C. § 515 Albuquerque, New
Mexico --and-- Maria Ysabel Armijo Randy M. Castellano
Matthew Beck Assistant United States Attorneys United States
Attorney's Office Las Cruces, New Mexico Attorneys for
M. Gorman Law Offices of Robert D. Gorman Albuquerque, New
Mexico --and-- Susan M. Porter Albuquerque, New Mexico
Attorneys for Defendant Angel DeLeon
Richard Sindel Sindel, Sindel & Noble, P.C. Clayton,
Missouri --and-- Brock Benjamin Benjamin Law Firm El Paso,
Texas Attorneys for Defendant Joe Lawrence Gallegos
Patrick J. Burke Patrick J. Burke, P.C. Denver, Colorado
--and-- Cori Ann Harbour-Valdez The Harbour Law Firm, P.C. El
Paso, Texas Attorneys for Defendant Edward Troup
R. Knight Littleton, Colorado --and-- Russell Dean Clark Las
Cruces, New Mexico Attorneys for Defendant Leonard Lujan
Bowles Bowles Law Firm Albuquerque, New Mexico --and-- Joseph
Libory Green The Law Firm of Joseph Green, L.L.C.
Chesterfield, Missouri --and-- Kathleen Lord Lord Law Firm,
LLC Denver, Colorado --and-- Mario Carreon Las Cruces, New
Mexico --and-- James A. Castle Castle & Castle, P.C.
Denver, Colorado --and-- Robert R. Cooper Albuquerque, New
Mexico Attorneys for Defendant Billy Garcia
Ibarra Las Cruces, New Mexico --and-- David A. Lane Killmer,
Lane & Newman, LLP Denver, Colorado --and-- Douglas E.
Couleur Douglas E. Couleur, P.A. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Attorneys for Defendant Eugene Martinez
E. Shattuck Marco & Shattuck Law Firm Albuquerque, New
Mexico --and-- Jeffrey C. Lahann Las Cruces, New Mexico
Attorneys for Defendant Allen Patterson
Eduardo Solis El Paso, Texas --and-- John L. Granberg
Granberg Law Office El Paso, Texas --and-- Orlando Mondragon
El Paso, Texas Attorneys for Defendant Christopher Chavez
D. Chambers Nathan D. Chambers, Attorney at Law Denver
Colorado --and-- Noel Orquiz Deming, New Mexico Attorneys for
Defendant Javier Alonso
Moran Davidson Albuquerque, New Mexico --and-- Billy R.
Blackburn Albuquerque, New Mexico Attorneys for Defendant
Arturo Arnulfo Garcia
Stephen E. Hosford Stephen E. Hosford, P.C. Arrey, New Mexico
--and-- Jerry Daniel Herrera Albuquerque, New Mexico
Attorneys for Defendant Benjamin Clark
Pineda Las Cruces, New Mexico --and-- León Encinias
León Felipe Encinias, Attorney at Law Albuquerque, New
Mexico Attorneys for Defendant Ruben Hernandez
Mitchell Mitchell Law Office Ruidoso, New Mexico Attorney for
Defendant Jerry Armenta
A. Hammond Osborn Maledon, P.A. Phoenix, Arizona --and--
Margaret Strickland McGraw & Strickland Las Cruces, New
Mexico Attorneys for Defendant Jerry Montoya
M. Potolsky Jacksonville Beach, Florida --and-- Santiago D.
Hernandez Law Office of Santiago D. Hernandez El Paso, Texas
Attorneys for Defendant Mario Rodriguez
Lorenzo Almanza Las Cruces, New Mexico --and Ray Velarde El
Paso, Texas Attorneys for Defendant Timothy Martinez
Spencer El Paso, Texas --and-- Mary Stillinger El Paso, Texas
Attorneys for Defendant Mauricio Varela
R. Lee Denver, Colorado --and-- Lauren Noriega The Noriega
Law Firm Los Angeles, California --and-- Amy E. Jacks Law
Office of Amy E. Jacks Los Angeles, California --and--
Richard Jewkes El Paso, Texas Attorneys for Defendant Daniel
A. Harrison Las Cruces, New Mexico --and-- Kimberly S.
Bruselas-Benavidez Albuquerque, New Mexico Attorneys for
Defendant Gerald Archuleta
Crow Crow Law Firm Roswell, New Mexico Attorney for Defendant
Theresa M. Duncan Duncan Earnest LLC Albuquerque, New Mexico
--and-- Marc M. Lowry Rothstein Donatelli LLP Albuquerque,
New Mexico Attorneys for Defendant Anthony Ray Baca
Charles J. McElhinney CJM Law Firm Las Cruces, New Mexico
Attorney for Defendant Robert Martinez
J. Milner Las Cruces, New Mexico Attorney for Defendant Roy
M. Lowry Rothstein Donatelli LLP Albuquerque, New Mexico
--and-- Christopher W. Adams Charleston, South Carolina
--and-- Amy Sirignano Law Office of Amy Sirignano, P.C.
Albuquerque, New Mexico Attorneys for Defendant Christopher
Michael V. Davis Michael V. Davis, Attorney & Counselor
at Law, P.C. Corrales, New Mexico --and-- Ryan J. Villa Law
Office of Ryan J. Villa Albuquerque, New Mexico --and--
William R. Maynard El Paso, Texas --and-- Carey Corlew Bhalla
Law Office of Carey C. Bhalla, LLC Albuquerque, New Mexico
Attorneys for Defendant Carlos Herrera
Justine Fox-Young Albuquerque, New Mexico --and-- Ryan J.
Villa Law Office of Ryan J. Villa Albuquerque, New Mexico
Attorneys for Defendant Rudy Perez
Torraco Albuquerque, New Mexico --and-- Donavon A. Roberts
Albuquerque, New Mexico Attorneys for Defendant Andrew
Erlinda O. Johnson Law Office of Erlinda Ocampo Johnson
Albuquerque, New Mexico Attorney for Defendant Santos
R. Romero Keith R. Romero, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Albuquerque, New Mexico Attorney for Paul Rivera
Arellanes Albuquerque, New Mexico Attorney for Defendant
D. Creecy Albuquerque, New Mexico --and-- Jerry A. Walz Walz
and Associates Albuquerque, New Mexico Attorneys for
Defendant Brandy Rodriguez
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MATTER comes before the Court on the Defendant Baca's
Objections to Presentence Report, filed June 10, 2019 (Doc.
2690)(“Objections”). The Court held a sentencing
hearing on June 12, 2019. The primary issues are: (i) whether
the 2-level adjustment for attacking a vulnerable victim
under § 3A1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines
Manual (U.S. Sentencing Comm'n
“Guidelines”) applies where Defendant Anthony Ray
Baca was not present at Javier Molina's murder and where
Baca argues that there is no evidence that Baca “was
involved in ordering, planning, or directing the details of
Mr. Molina's murder, ” Objections ¶ 6, at 3;
and (ii) whether the Court should apply U.S.S.G. §
5G1.3(a) so Baca's federal sentence will run
consecutively with his state sentence, because Baca was
incarcerated and serving a sentence for murder when he
committed the federal offenses. The Court concludes that: (i)
a preponderance of the evidence establishes that Baca knew or
should have known that Molina was particularly vulnerable to
being murdered, because of his cooperation with law
enforcement, Baca's order that Molina be killed, and
Molina's incarceration with fellow Syndicato de Nuevo
Mexico (“SNM”) members who knew of his
cooperation and the order for his death; and (ii) a
preponderance of the evidence establishes that Baca committed
the instant offenses while serving an undischarged term of
imprisonment, and therefore his federal sentence will run
consecutively to his prior state sentence. Accordingly, the
Court overrules Baca's Objections and applies U.S.S.G.
§§ 3A1.1 and 5G1.3(a).
one of many Defendants named in a sixteen-count indictment
charging “members/prospects/associates of the”
SNM with “acts of violence and other criminal
activities, including murder, kidnapping, attempted murder,
conspiracy to manufacture/distribute narcotics, and firearms
trafficking.” Second Superseding Indictment ¶ 1,
at 2, filed March 9, 2017 (Doc.
949)(“Indictment”). The Indictment alleges that
SNM constitutes an enterprise “as defined in Title 18,
United States Code, Section 1959(b)(2), that is, a group of
individuals associated in fact that engaged in, and the
activities of which affected, interstate and foreign
commerce.” Indictment ¶ 2, at 2-3. The Court has
provided background information on the SNM in a number of
prior opinions, including in its Memorandum Opinion and
Order, 287 F.Supp.3d 1187, filed March 7, 2018 (Doc.
1882)(“MOO”). The Court provides this
information, which is gathered from the Indictment, to
provide background information on this case and recognizes
that this information reflects largely Plaintiff United
States of America's version of events:
SNM is a violent prison gang formed in the early 1980s at the
Penitentiary of New Mexico (“PNM”) after a
violent prison riot at PNM during which inmates seriously
assaulted and raped twelve correctional officers after taking
them hostage. . . . Indictment at 3. During the riot,
thirty-three inmates were killed, and over 200 were injured.
See . . . Indictment at 3. After the PNM riot, SNM
expanded throughout the state's prison system and has had
as many as 500 members. See Indictment at 3. SNM now
has approximately 250 members, and “a ‘panel'
or ‘mesa' (Spanish for table) of leaders who issue
orders to subordinate gang members.” Indictment at 3.
SNM controls drug distribution and other illegal activities
within the New Mexico penal system, but it also conveys
orders outside the prison system. See Indictment at
3. Members who rejoin their communities after completing
their sentences are expected to further the gang's goals,
the main one being the control of and profit from narcotics
trafficking. See Indictment at 3-4. Members who fail
“to show continued loyalty to the gang [are]
disciplined in various ways,  includ[ing] murder and
assaults.” Indictment at 4. SNM also intimidates and
influences smaller New Mexico Hispanic gangs to expand its
illegal activities. See Indictment at 4. If another
gang does not abide by SNM's demands, SNM will assault or
kill one of the other gang's members to show its power.
See Indictment at 4. SNM's rivalry with other
gangs also manifests itself in beatings and stabbings within
the prison system. See Indictment at 4. SNM further
engages in violence “to assert its gang identity, to
claim or protect its territory, to challenge or respond to
challenges, to retaliate against a rival gang or member,
[and] to gain notoriety and show its superiority over
others.” Indictment at 4. To show its strength and
influence, SNM expects its members to confront and attack any
suspected law enforcement informants, cooperating witnesses,
homosexuals, or sex offenders. See Indictment at 5.
To achieve its purpose of preserving its power, SNM uses
intimidation, violence, threats of violence, assaults, and
murder. See Indictment at 7. SNM as an enterprise
generates income by having its members and associates traffic
controlled substances and extort narcotic traffickers.
See Indictment at 8. SNM's recent activities in
a conspiracy to murder high-ranking New Mexico Corrections
Department Officials inspired the Federal Bureau of
Investigation's present investigation. See United
States v. Garcia, No. CR 15-4275, Memorandum Opinion and
Order at 2, 221 F.Supp.3d 1275, 1277, filed November 16, 2016
. . . .
The United States now brings this case, which it initiated in
Las Cruces, New Mexico, against thirty-one Defendants,
charging them with a total of sixteen counts. See
Indictment at 1, 9-18. All Defendants are accused of
participating in the SNM enterprise's operation and
management, and of committing unlawful activities “as a
consideration for the receipt of, and as consideration for a
promise and an agreement to pay, anything of pecuniary value
from SNM and for the purpose of gaining entrance to and
maintaining and increasing position in SNM, an enterprise
engaged in racketeering activity.” Indictment at 9-18.
Defendant Arturo Arnulfo Garcia, Defendant Gerald Archuleta,
Defendant Benjamin Clark, [Defendant Mario] Rodriguez,
Defendant Anthony Ray Baca, Defendant Robert Martinez,
Defendant Roy Paul Martinez, and [Defendant Daniel] Sanchez
are the enterprise's alleged leaders. See
Indictment at 6. The other Defendants are allegedly members
or associates who acted under the direction of the
enterprise's leaders. See Indictment at 6. The
SNM gang enterprise, through its members and associates,
allegedly engaged in: (i) racketeering activity as 18 U.S.C.
§§ 1959(b)(1) and 1961(1) defines that term; (ii)
murder and robbery in violation of New Mexico law; (iii)
acts, indictable under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1503, 1512, and
1513, “involving obstruction of justice, tampering with
or retaliating against a witness, victim or an
informant”; and (iv) offenses involving trafficking in
narcotics in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 and 846.
Indictment at 9.
. . . .
For fuller factual context, there are now four cases before
the Court related to SNM's alleged criminal activity. In
a related case -- United States v. Baca, No. CR
16-1613, 2016 WL 6404772 (D.N.M.)(Browning, J.) -- the United
States names twelve defendants, all alleged SNM members or
associates, who have allegedly engaged in a racketeering
conspiracy, under 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d). There is also a
separate prosecution of [Defendant Christopher] Garcia for
drug crimes, see United States v. Garcia, No. CR
15-4275 (D.N.M.)(Browning, J.), and a four-defendant
prosecution for alleged violent crimes in aid of
racketeering, under 18 U.S.C. § 1959. See United
States v. Varela, No. CR 15-4269 (D.N.M.)(Browning, J.).
MOO at 5-12, 287 F.Supp.3d at 1195-99 (footnotes
omitted)(first four alterations in the MOO, last two added).
The Indictment charges Baca in five Counts: (i) Count 6's
violent crimes in aid of racketeering activity, 18 U.S.C.
§ 1959(a)(5), for the March, 2014, conspiracy to murder
Molina; (ii) Count 7's violent crimes in aid of
racketeering activity, 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(1), (2), for
the March 7, 2014, murder of Molina; (iii) Count 8's
violent crimes in aid of racketeering activity, 18 U.S.C.
§ 1959(a)(6), for conspiracy to commit assault resulting
in serious bodily injury to Julian Romero; (iv) Count 9's
violent crimes in aid of racketeering activity, 18 U.S.C.
§ 1959(a)(5), for conspiracy to murder Dwayne
Santistevan; and (v) violent crimes in aid of racketeering
activity, 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5), for conspiracy to
murder Gregg Marcantel. See Indictment at 12-15.
Monday, January 29, 2018, the Court began jury selection for
the trial on the Indictment's Counts 6-12. See
Clerk's Minutes at 3, filed January 29, 2018 (Doc.
1746)(“Jan. Trial Minutes”). Baca went to trial
with three co-Defendants: Sanchez, Carlos Herrera, and Rudy
Perez. See Jan. Trial Minutes at 2. The parties gave
their opening statements on Wednesday, January 31, 2018, and
the United States began its case in chief the same day.
See Jan. Trial Minutes at 7.
from several minor changes, the Court takes the
offense-conduct facts from the Presentence Investigation
Report, filed June 6, 2019 (Doc. 2682)(“Revised
PSR”), and the Addendum to the Presentence Report,
filed June 11, 2019 (Doc. 2703)(“Addendum”),
because, although Baca objects to portions of the Revised
PSR's recitation of the facts, the Court concludes that
the trial testimony and evidence supports the Revised
PSR's factual recitation, see Transcript of
Proceedings (Sentencing) at 78:25-79, taken June 12, 2019
(“Tr.”)(Court)(The Revised “PSR . . .
match[es] up with the trial testimony. . . . So my reading of
the [Revised] PSR . . . [and] my reviewing of the [trial
testimony] transcript itself didn't see any
particularly factual mistakes in the [Revised]
PSR.”). Accordingly, the Court adopted all of the
Revised PSR's factual findings with the following
changes: (i) in the Revised PSR's paragraph 22, replace
“somehow obtained” with “was aware of,
” Tr. at 83:1-5 (Court); (ii) in the Revised PSR's
paragraph 22, delete the phrase “in his cell, ”
Tr. at 84:17-19 (Court); and (iii) in the Revised PSR's
paragraph 26, the first sentence should read: “In
summary, Herrera ordered the murder of JM after receiving the
paperwork.” Tr. at 86:5-7 (Duncan). See id. at
86:8-14 (Court, Armijo, Mills). The Court's findings of
fact on the conspiracy to murder Molina and Molina's
murder are as follows:
14. On March 7, 2014, officers with the New Mexico State
Police (NMSP) were dispatched to the Southern New Mexico
Correctional Facility (SNMCF) in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in
reference to a homicide. Upon arrival, the officers learned
the deceased inmate was identified as J.M. They further
learned J.M. was a known member of the SNM gang and had been
stabbed to death by other known SNM members. It was later
learned J.M. was murdered because of his cooperation with law
15. NMSP officers and crime scene agents were shown the video
recordings of the incident that occurred in Pod 1A-B. Pod
1A-B is made up of 16 cells, eight on the bottom floor and
eight on the top floor, with a shower stall on each floor.
According to the SNMCF sergeant, there were four possible
suspects involved in the murder of J.M.: Timothy Martinez,
Mario Rodriguez, Jerry Armenta, and Jerry Montoya.
16. According to the video, at approximately 5:15 in the
evening, J.M. was standing on the top floor leaning against
the railing in front of his cell and appeared to be engaged
in a conversation with Martinez, who was standing next to
him. A few minutes later, J.M. walked into his cell but then
returned to his prior location, and Martinez walked away.
Rodriguez subsequently provided J.M. with an unidentified
object, after which, J.M. returned to his cell, and Rodriguez
followed him. The two later walked out of the cell together.
During this time, Montoya was in the common area and top
floor holding a white rag in his hands.
17. At 5:18 in the evening, Rodriguez, Martinez, and J.M.
entered J.M.'s cell, where Rodriguez and Martinez
attempted to incapacitate J.M. Less than two minutes later,
Armenta and Montoya entered the cell, and almost immediately,
Martinez and Rodriguez exited the cell. Within seconds, J.M.
exited his cell with what appeared to be blood stains on the
chest area of his white shirt. Armenta and Montoya followed
J.M. as they all walked down the stairs to the first floor.
Once at the bottom of the staircase, Montoya attacked J.M.,
and Armenta became involved in the altercation shortly
thereafter. The video showed Armenta holding a sharp object
in his right hand and motioning as if he was stabbing J.M.,
who was just outside of the camera's view. Moments later,
Armenta and Montoya walked away, leaving J.M. on the floor by
the main entrance of the pod.
18. Armenta then walked next to a trashcan and appeared to
throw an object into it. Subsequently, Armenta walked back to
J.M. and made a motion as if he was kicking J.M.
Simultaneously, Montoya walked into the shower on the first
floor and then entered his cell. Armenta then picked up an
object off of the floor and walked upstairs, where he entered
the shower on the second floor. Shortly thereafter, Rodriguez
exited the shower, fully clothed, as the entire pod was being
ordered by SNMCF officials to return to their assigned pods.
19. Crime scene analysts searched the entire pod area during
the evening hours of March 7, 2014. The analysts located a
homemade knife (“shank”) in the second-floor
shower area and two more shanks in the trashcan on the first
floor next to the staircase. While the analysts were
reviewing the crime scene, NMSP and SNMCF officers attempted
to question all of the inmates in the pod. The majority of
the inmates refused to waive their
MirandaRights, and none would answer any questions
posed by the officers. The inmates that did agree to speak to
officers were unable and/or unwilling to provide any
information about the attack on J.M.
20. J.M.'s cause of death was ruled a homicide by
multiple mortal stab wounds. The autopsy of J.M. revealed 43
stab wounds and 5 cuts to the head, trunk, left upper arm,
and left thigh. The majority of the stab wounds were on the
chest and abdomen, and several stab wounds injured the heart
and lungs, which lead to extensive bleeding within the deep
soft tissues of the chest and was fatal. Additionally, the
autopsy revealed there were two clearly discernible stabbing
patterns, indicating two persons stabbed J.M.
21. Trial testimony provided was by other co-conspirators and
identified SNM members, including Gerald Archuleta, a.k.a.
“Styx” and “Grandma”; Billy Cordova;
Armenta; Guadalupe Urquizo, a.k.a. “Lupe” and
“Marijuano”; and Rodriguez. Their testimonies
revealed Herrera was in a position of authority in the gang
and an identified leader in his pod, with the ability to
authorize the killing of another member provided he could
justify it within the gang.
22. On September 17, 2015, and again on October 6, 2015,
special agents with the FBI met with Armenta, who stated that
prior to March 6, 2014, Anthony Ray Baca, a.k.a.
“Pup, ” the recognized leader of the
SNM, [was aware of] a copy of a police report prepared by the
Las Cruces Police Department, which reflected J.M. had
provided information to aid in a police investigation. After
receiving this report, Baca, who was housed
at the Penitentiary of New Mexico (PNM) in Santa Fe, declared
J.M. was to be murdered . . . at the SNMCF. Armenta testified
that on the day of the murder, he spoke to Herrera, who
indicated the paperwork on J.M. was real, and it was okay to
move forward with the “hit”. Armenta further
testified Herrera decided Armenta and Montoya would carry out
the “hit” on J.M., as they needed to show their
loyalty to the SNM. Additionally, Armenta testified Herrera
indicated these selections were made by him and Daniel
Sanchez, a.k.a. “Dan Dan”. Armenta stated he
participated in the murder of J.M., as Sanchez told him if he
did not comply, he would be the one killed.
23. Cordova testified Herrera had shown him documents
(paperwork) reflecting J.M. was speaking to law enforcement,
and J.M. was murdered on the same date they received the
paperwork in order to avoid J.M. becoming aware of the
pending “hit”. In later taped communication with
Cordova, Herrera acknowledged the existence of the paperwork
and indicated he called the “hit” on J.M. Herrera
further explained that although other SNM members had
conflicting feelings about how the situation with J.M. was
handled, no one else had addressed the issue until Herrera
24. Urquizo testified that on March 6, 2014, through a
routine transfer process, he was moved from the PNM to the
SNMCF. Upon arrival, Herrera inquired if Urquizo had the
paperwork on J.M. Urquizo indicated he did, but it remained
in his property. Upon receipt of his property the following
day, Urquizo provided the paperwork on J.M. to Herrera, who
delivered it to Rodriguez, according to Urquizo's
testimony. Urquizo indicated Rodriguez then wrote him a
letter indicating they could “take care of him, ”
meaning J.M. The killing of J.M. occurred later on the same
date, and Urquizo testified he destroyed the paperwork on
J.M. by flushing it down the toilet.
25. Rodriguez testified Herrera showed him and Sanchez the
paperwork on J.M. Sanchez then chose Rodriguez, Martinez,
Montoya, and Armenta to kill J.M., as they needed to show
their loyalty to the gang. Rodriguez indicated Herrera
directed them to “get it done, ” as he did not
want J.M. to be notified of the “hit”.
26. In summary, Herrera ordered the murder of J.M. after
receiving [the paperwork] from Baca . . . .
Based on the facts in this case, while incarcerated at the
SNMCF, two SNM gang members entered J.M.'s cell and
stabbed him to death with shanks. J.M. was murdered as a
result of his cooperation with law enforcement. Due to the
close quarters of J.M.'s cell, which had only one
entrance and exit, J.M. was not able to fight off his
assailants or escape while he was being stabbed. Moreover,
J.M. became susceptible to injury or death when other SNM
members became aware he cooperated with law enforcement, and
he was subsequently placed in a correctional facility with
other SNM members after a “green light” was
placed on him which meant he was to be killed, thus making
him a vulnerable victim being physically restrained.
Revised PSR ¶¶ 14-26, at 9-11 (bold in original).
Court's findings of fact on the conspiracies to murder
Santistevan and Marcantel are as follows:
27. On March 23, 2015, an NMCD captain advised FBI agents a
credible and reliable confidential source (CS) had provided
information that a “hit” was placed on Cabinet
Secretary, Gregg Marcantel (G.M.) and STIU Administrator,
Dwayne Santistevan (D.S.) by SNM leadership. Specifically
mentioned as having ordered the assaults/murders were Roy
Paul Martinez, a.k.a. “Shadow”; Robert Martinez,
a.k.a. “Baby Rob”; and Anthony Ray
28. On April 7, 2015, the NMCD and STIU provided original
letters to the FBI regarding planned assassinations of NMCD
staff to be carried out by SNM members. The following
information was located in the letters:
29. On April 6, 2015, the STIU received a letter written by
Martinez to Sammy Griego, which read that SNM leadership had
decided to allow Griego one opportunity to show his loyalty
to the SNM by “taking out” G.M. and D.S. In the
letter, Martinez gave Griego the flexibility to work out the
details of “hits” on his own. Martinez threatened
Griego by stating if he failed to conduct the “hits,
” he would be “taken out”. In the letter,
Martinez explained to Griego if the other SNM members could
not get in contact with Griego, they would hurt or kill his
family members. Martinez instructed Griego to get in contact
with Gerald Archuleta, a.k.a. “Styx”. In the
letter, Archuleta is referred to as “Grandma” (a
lesser known nickname). Martinez indicated if Griego
contacted Archuleta, they both would be obligated to conduct
30. On April 6, 2015, the STIU received a letter written by
Martinez to Ruben Hinojosa. In the letter, Martinez stated
the SNM leadership was tired of SNM members getting out of
prison and doing nothing for the SNM. Martinez stated this
type of behavior would no longer be tolerated and ordered
Hinojosa to show his loyalty by “taking out” G.M.
and D.S. Martinez proceeded to threaten Hinojosa by
explaining that if he failed to conduct the hits, he would be
“taken out”. Martinez advised if the other SNM
members could not get in contact with Hinojosa, they would
hurt or kill his family members. Martinez concluded the
letter by telling Hinojosa the SNM was counting on him and
not to let down the SNM.
31. Beginning in October 2015, electronic surveillance was
utilized in the PNM to capture conversations between
Baca, a CHS, and SNM member Christopher
Garcia. During these conversations, it was clear
Baca had sanctioned the killing of G.M. and
D.S., as well as correctional officer, A.V.
32. On November 11, 2015, Baca requested
that Garcia assist the SNM gang in a “mission”.
On November 15, 2015, Garcia and Baca used
coded language to discuss the acquisition of firearms for the
SNM gang. Garcia agreed to obtain “a couple” of
guns and said he already had firearms on hand. On November
18, 2015, Garcia used coded language to tell
Baca he would plant a firearm at a secret
location to be retrieved by another SNM gang member. On
November 26, 2015, Garcia and Baca used
coded language to discuss a firearm that was to be provided
to another SNM gang member.
33. On November 28, 2015, Garcia advised he had a firearm for
the CHS. Garcia instructed the CHS to come to his residence
and retrieve the weapon; however, the CHS stated he/she was
unable to do so and would go the following day. On November
29, 2015, the CHS met with FBI special agents, who provided
the CHS with a covert recording device to be utilized during
the meeting with Garcia.
34. The CHS proceeded to Garcia's residence and retrieved
a handgun identified by the CHS as a semiautomatic pistol.
The CHS told Garcia he/she had scouted G.M.'s residence
in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The CHS specifically stated G.M.
walked his dogs by the river three times per week. The CHS
indicated he/she and SNM member Mandel Lon Parker would
approach G.M. while he was walking and shoot him.
35. Garcia instructed the CHS to be careful when conducting
the murder and warned the CHS not to trust Parker. Garcia
suggested the CHS give Parker a “hot shot”
(heroin overdose) after murdering G.M. and leave the murder
weapon on Parker's body, so he would be blamed for the
murder. Garcia went on to say the CHS should use a shotgun on
G.M., because of his big size. The CHS told Garcia he/she
would hide the weapon for Garcia, and the two could meet up
at a later date and time. The CHS left Garcia's residence
and met with the FBI special agents at a prearranged