Demetrio Trujillo, Co-Defendant of Solomon Peña, Pleads Guilty
ALBUQUERQUE – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced today that Demetrio Trujillo pled guilty to conspiracy, two counts of interference with federally protected activities, using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and discharging said firearm. Trujillo, 42, will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.
A federal grand jury indicted Trujillo on May 24, 2023, along with his son, Jose Louise Trujillo, and Solomon Peña. According to court records, Trujillo met Peña through acquaintances and knew that Peña campaigned to become the District 14 representative in the New Mexico House of Representatives in 2022. Following his electoral defeat in November 2022, Peña claimed to Trujillo and others that the election had been rigged against him. Peña decided to pressure members of the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners to refuse to certify the results of the election and offered to pay Trujillo to help him.
On November 21, 2022, the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners voted to certify the results of the election that Peña lost. At that time, Peña and Trujillo decided to move forward with Peña’s plan to intimidate his political targets. On Dec. 4, 2022, Peña paid Trujillo to shoot a firearm at the private residence of a former candidate for elective office that Peña had chosen as a target for intimidation. On Dec. 8, 2022, Peña paid Trujillo to shoot a firearm at the private residence of another former candidate for elective office to intimidate the target from campaigning as a candidate. On Jan. 3, 2023, Peña and Trujillo drove to the residence of a third individual who Peña had targeted because they were a former candidate for elective office and carried out a shooting to intimate the target from campaigning.
At sentencing, Trujillo faces up to life in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release and may be ordered to pay fines not to exceed $1 million.
Solomon Peña is currently scheduled to stand trial in June 2024.
Jose Louise Trujillo pled guilty to conspiracy, interference with federally protected activities, using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, discharging said firearm, and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl on Jan. 8, 2024. Jose Louise Trujilo remains in custody pending sentencing, which is current scheduled for April 8, 2024. At sentencing, Jose Louise Trujillo faces up to life in prison.
The FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with the Albuquerque Police Department and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office. Trial Attorney Ryan Crosswell of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeremy Peña and Patrick E. Cordova for the District of New Mexico are prosecuting the case.
This case is part of the Justice Department’s Election Threats Task Force. Announced by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and launched by Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco in June 2021, the task force has led the department’s efforts to address threats of violence against election workers, and to ensure that all election workers — whether elected, appointed, or volunteer — are able to do their jobs free from threats and intimidation. The task force engages with the election community and state and local law enforcement to assess allegations and reports of threats against election workers, and has investigated and prosecuted these matters where appropriate, in partnership with FBI field offices and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices throughout the country. A year after its formation, the task force is continuing this work and supporting the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and FBI Field Offices nationwide as they carry on the critical work that the task force has begun.
Under the leadership of Deputy Attorney General Monaco, the task force is led by the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and includes several other entities within the Justice Department, including the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, the Civil Rights Division, the National Security Division, and the FBI, as well as key interagency partners, such as the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. For more information regarding the Justice Department’s efforts to combat threats against election workers, read the Deputy Attorney General’s memo.
To report suspected threats or violent acts, contact your local FBI Field Office and request to speak with the Election Crimes Coordinator. Contact information for every FBI field office may be found at www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/. You may also contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or file an online complaint at tips.fbi.gov. Complaints submitted will be reviewed by the task force and referred for investigation or response accordingly. If someone is in imminent danger or risk of harm, contact 911 or your local police immediately.
The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to safeguarding free, fair, and secure elections. In partnership with our local, state, and federal partners, we will use every authority to ensure that all eligible voters can cast a vote, that all lawful votes are counted, and that every election official is safe and free to carry out their official duties.
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