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Press Release

La Mesa man charged for threatening to burn public water utility building

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – 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 that Shane Watkins was charged by criminal complaint with making interstate threats. Watkins, 36, of La Mesa, New Mexico, made an initial appearance in court on Oct. 26 and will remain in custody pending a preliminary and detention hearing scheduled for Oct. 31.

According to the complaint, Watkins allegedly made telephone calls on Sept. 16, 2021, and June 29, 2022, to the Lower Rio Grande Public Water Works Authority (LRGPWWA) threatening to burn the LRGPWWA. On Sept. 17, 2021, LRGPWWA received a message from an email account associated with Watkins. The email message contained threats similar to those Watkins allegedly made by telephone.

A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Watkins faces up to 10 years in prison.

The Las Cruces Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Mark Standridge is prosecuting the case.

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Updated October 27, 2022

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 22-138