DA Won’t Prosecute Missing-Evidence Case

Albuquerque Journal Online Edition, abqjournal.com
By ABQnews Staff
Link to Article

Colfax County, NM

Following a months-long investigation by New Mexico State Police and the 8th Judicial District Attorney’s Office into the disappearance of more than $34,000 in cash, more than 25 pounds of marijuana and a gun from the Sheriff’s Office evidence room a year ago, District Attorney Donald Gallegos has decided not to prosecute anyone, The Raton Range reported.

The items have not been recovered and a “very thorough and detailed investigation” has produced no evidence strong enough to identify conclusively the person who took the items or to support a conviction, Gallegos told The Range.

Gallegos, however, urged anyone with information that could move the case forward to contact his office in Taos at (575) 758-8683 or State Police in Raton at (575) 445-5571, the paper reported.

Sheriff Pat Casias told The Range he has received the State Police report and his department has determined that it “was not any of our personnel” who took the items from the evidence room, which at the time was part of the sheriff’s office in the Colfax County Building.

The State Police investigation looked at contractors who were working in the building at the time the items disappeared, Casias told the paper.

The sheriff’s office has a new evidence room at its new facility in the judicial center on South Second Street in Raton that is more secure, including lockers that can be locked and numbered shelves that can keep track of exactly where items can be found in the evidence room, Casias said.

The sheriff told The Range he believes the missing cash and most of the marijuana came from a highway drug bust while he thinks the gun came from a separate case.

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