A second individual from New Mexico has admitted guilt in connection to a scheme aimed at intimidating Democratic officeholders. This initiative was orchestrated by the unsuccessful Republican candidate for state representative.
Demetrio Trujillo, 42, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy, two counts of interference with federally protected activities, and using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, as announced by U.S. Attorney M.M. Uballez on Friday.
Trujillo’s guilty pleas also encompass charges related to discharging a firearm, specifically for firing at the residences of three Democratic candidates vying for elective offices. The intention behind these actions was to intimidate them and dissuade them from actively campaigning.
The potential consequences for Trujillo include a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a $1 million fine. He will remain in custody until the scheduled sentencing on May 1.
In a parallel development, Trujillo’s son and co-defendant, Jose Louise Trujillo, had previously pleaded guilty on January 8 to similar felony charges, including possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. Jose Louise Trujillo is also in custody and faces a possible life sentence, with his sentencing set for April 8. His charges involve allegedly shooting at the home of a fourth victim.
The Trujillos were implicated in a conspiracy with Solomon Pena, the Republican candidate for District 14 of the New Mexico House of Representatives in the 2022 election, who was unsuccessful in his bid against State Rep. Miguel Garcia, losing by a margin of 74% to 26%. The Bernalillo County Board of Representatives certified the election results on November 21, 2022.
Pena, dissatisfied with the election outcome, alleged voter fraud and visited the homes of several county commissioners without invitation. Prosecutors claim that he coordinated the shootings in Albuquerque.
According to Demetrio Trujillo’s plea agreement, he met Pena through two other co-defendants. Prior to the November 7, 2022, vote, Pena asserted that the election would be rigged against him. Trujillo revealed that Pena provided him with the addresses of the three political rivals, instructing him to shoot at their homes to intimidate them into refusing to certify the election results.
Pena, currently in federal custody for orchestrating the shooting spree, is alleged to have paid the Trujillos to shoot at a total of four homes.