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United States v. Baca

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

November 4, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ANTHONY RAY BACA, a.k.a. “Pup, ” Defendant.

          Fred 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 the Plaintiff

          Sarah 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

          Donald R. Knight Littleton, Colorado --and-- Russell Dean Clark Las Cruces, New Mexico Attorneys for Defendant Leonard Lujan

          Jason 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

          Carlos 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

          Joseph 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

          Nathan D. Chambers Nathan D. Chambers, Attorney at Law Denver Colorado --and-- Noel Orquiz Deming, New Mexico Attorneys for Defendant Javier Alonso

          Scott 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

          Pedro Pineda Las Cruces, New Mexico --and-- León Encinias León Felipe Encinias, Attorney at Law Albuquerque, New Mexico Attorneys for Defendant Ruben Hernandez

          Gary Mitchell Mitchell Law Office Ruidoso, New Mexico Attorney for Defendant Jerry Armenta

          Larry A. Hammond Osborn Maledon, P.A. Phoenix, Arizona --and-- Margaret Strickland McGraw & Strickland Las Cruces, New Mexico Attorneys for Defendant Jerry Montoya

          Steven M. Potolsky Jacksonville Beach, Florida --and-- Santiago D. Hernandez Law Office of Santiago D. Hernandez El Paso, Texas Attorneys for Defendant Mario Rodriguez

          Steven Lorenzo Almanza Las Cruces, New Mexico --and Ray Velarde El Paso, Texas Attorneys for Defendant Timothy Martinez

          Joe Spencer El Paso, Texas --and-- Mary Stillinger El Paso, Texas Attorneys for Defendant Mauricio Varela

          Josh 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 Sanchez

          George A. Harrison Las Cruces, New Mexico --and-- Kimberly S. Bruselas-Benavidez Albuquerque, New Mexico Attorneys for Defendant Gerald Archuleta

          B.J. Crow Crow Law Firm Roswell, New Mexico Attorney for Defendant Conrad Villegas

          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

          Marcia J. Milner Las Cruces, New Mexico Attorney for Defendant Roy Paul Martinez

          Marc 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 Garcia

          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

          Lisa Torraco Albuquerque, New Mexico --and-- Donavon A. Roberts Albuquerque, New Mexico Attorneys for Defendant Andrew Gallegos

          Erlinda O. Johnson Law Office of Erlinda Ocampo Johnson Albuquerque, New Mexico Attorney for Defendant Santos Gonzalez

          Keith R. Romero Keith R. Romero, Attorney and Counselor at Law Albuquerque, New Mexico Attorney for Paul Rivera

          Angela Arellanes Albuquerque, New Mexico Attorney for Defendant Shauna Gutierrez

          Alfred D. Creecy Albuquerque, New Mexico --and-- Jerry A. Walz Walz and Associates Albuquerque, New Mexico Attorneys for Defendant Brandy Rodriguez

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         THIS 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 2018)(“U.S.S.G.” or “Guidelines”)[1] 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).

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Baca is 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 (Doc. 133).
. . . .
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.

         On 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.

         Aside 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.”).[2] 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 enforcement.
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 Miranda[3]Rights, 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 did.
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).

         The 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 Baca.
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:
Letter #1
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 the “hits”.
Letter #2
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 location. ...

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