Wednesday was the first time a failed Republican candidate was accused of planning a series of drive-by shootings at the homes of Democratically elected officials in New Mexico’s largest city.
Solomon Pea was shown on video, handcuffed while the judge explained that he would be held without bond until a hearing next month.
The government has filed a motion to keep him in jail until his trial. But Roberta Yurcic, the defense lawyer, said she would ask for conditions to be put in place so that her client could be freed while his case went through the state district court.
Pea is facing several charges related to shootings that began in early December and continued through January. Among the charges are shooting at a home, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, conspiracy, and having a gun while being a convicted criminal.
Authorities found out that the 39-year-old convicted criminal was the main suspect by looking at his cellphone and vehicle records, finding bullet casings near the officials’ homes, and talking to a confidential witness.
Pea said on social media after the November election that it was “rigged” and that he would not give up, even though he lost considerably.
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A criminal complaint says that the new politician paid four men to shoot at the homes of Democratic officials, including one where a 10-year-old girl was sleeping.
Pea, who posted pictures of himself online with campaign signs for Donald Trump, is just one of many people in the United States who have threatened or tried to harm members of Congress, school board members, and other election officials.
In November, Pea, who called himself the “King of MA,” sent a text message to one of his alleged conspirators in which he said he was unhappy with the election and how the results were certified.
In other messages, the addresses of the officials who were being attacked were sent.
On Monday, Pea was picked up by a SWAT team.
Pea was arrested in April 2007 for stealing electronics and other goods from several stores as part of a group of thieves that the police called a “burglary crew.” He spent the next nine years in prison. He got out of jail in March 2016, and corrections officials said that after five years of probation, in April 2021, he got his right to vote back.
In November, Pea ran against state Rep. Miguel P. Garcia, a Democrat representing House District 14 in the South Valley for a long time, but he lost. Pea was chosen by 26% of voters.
On November 15, he posted a picture of himself wearing a hoodie that said “Make America Great Again” and wrote, “Trump just announced for 2024. I support him. I never gave up the race for HD 14. Now I’m looking into my choices.”
No one was hurt in the drive-by shootings, and leaders from both sides have said that this kind of violence has no place in politics.
Police said that Pea had gone to the homes of two elected officials without being asked and showed them what he said was proof that he had won his race. In 2020 or 2022, there was no proof of widespread voter fraud or a mistake that affected enough votes to change the outcome.
The criminal complaint says that Pea hired a father, a son who both had criminal records, and two brothers who the police haven’t found out yet. Albuquerque police have said they plan to make more arrests, but they haven’t said what those arrests would be.
A witness told investigators that one of the men told the shooters to aim above the windows of the homes so they wouldn’t hit anyone inside. This is what the complaint states.
The witness said that Pea wanted them to shoot lower and that his insistence that the men be more aggressive made the other people uneasy.
Pea is accused of participating in the last shooting aimed at state Sen. Linda Lopez’s home. The witness said that Pea’s gun jammed and didn’t fire right but that one of the other men used a Glock pistol to fire several rounds into the house where Lopez’s daughter was sleeping.
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