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Press Release


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

ALBUQUERQUE – Rufino Jody Martinez, 40, of Santa Fe County, N.M., made an initial appearance in federal court today on a criminal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

            The charges against Martinez are the result of an FBI-led multi-agency effort to reduce violent crime in northern New Mexico communities.  U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge James C. Langenberg of the FBI Albuquerque Division, New Mexico State Police Chief Tim Johnson, and Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza announced the results of the multi-agency collaboration today in a series of press releases.

            “Reducing violent crime in America is one of the Department of Justice’s highest priorities,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Federici.  “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to working with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to protect the safety of New Mexicans by dismantling the violent criminal organizations that are responsible for so much of the violence in our communities, jails, and prisons.”

            “The FBI has been working closely with our law enforcement partners for years to weaken and eventually eliminate this violent prison gang, arresting approximately 160 of its members and associates,” said Special Agent in Charge James C. Langenberg.  “This latest arrest should send a clear message that those who plot to undermine the security of our communities and correctional system will be held accountable.”

            “Today’s operation should make citizens of New Mexico proud in that many law enforcement agencies worked together for a common goal; to eliminate violent career criminals from our communities,” said New Mexico State Police Chief Tim Johnson.  “80 New Mexico State Police officers were assigned to take part in today’s successful operation. The New Mexico State Police is excited to be part of the Violent Crimes Task Force.  New Mexico State Police will continue to work together with law enforcement partners and conduct proactive police operations, targeting the most dangerous criminals in New Mexico. The New Mexico State Police is committed to addressing the concerns of New Mexicans impacted by crime.”

            “Working in collaboration with local and federal law enforcement agencies is an important aspect of public safety, said Sheriff Mendoza.  “This operation and arrest is a collaborative effort to enforce current state and federal gun laws to ensure that those who unlawfully posses firearms and terrorize our communities will be brought to justice.”            According to the criminal complaint, Martinez allegedly committed this offense on October 24, 2018.  The complaint alleges Martinez went to a residence in Cuarteles, N.M., where he shot another man in the groin.  The victim drove himself to the hospital and received medical attention following the shooting.  Martinez allegedly also possessed additional ammunition at his home on this date.  Martinez was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition based on previous felony convictions for aggravated battery, battery upon a police officer, attempted robbery, and possession of controlled substances.

            Martinez is currently in custody awaiting trial.  He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the charged offense.  A complaint is only an accusation.  A criminal defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

            The Albuquerque office of the FBI investigated this case with the New Mexico State Police, New Mexico Corrections Department, and Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Las Cruces Branch Office are prosecuting the case as part of the OCDETF Program, a nationwide Department of Justice program that combines the resources and unique expertise of federal agencies, along with their local counterparts, in a coordinated effort to disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations.

Updated September 24, 2019

Press Release Number: 19-151