Thursday, August 13, 2009

Socorro Police Aid Feds In Bust Of Mail Thief

By John Larson
SOCORRO – Officers from the Socorro Police Department aided U.S. Marshals in the apprehension of a man who they believe has been stealing mail from post office boxes across the state.
Socorro police Detective Richard Lopez and Capt. Lawrence Montano were alerted by federal agents that the suspect, Louie Sanchez, 28, had rented a room in a local motel.
“We were contacted by the U.S. Marshal’s office that these people were in Socorro. They were tracking a Citibank credit card,” Lopez said. “They had gone to Farmington and then found the credit card was used at (a motel) in Socorro. They provided me with a photo of Louie and a federal arrest warrant.”
Lopez and Montano proceeded to the motel and as they were about to knock on the door another man, Christopher Gomez, spotted them and “he looked at me and started to run,” Lopez said.
“I chased him to the parking lot of the Holiday Inn, arrested him and handed him over to Capt. Montano,” he said. “I ran back upstairs to the motel room with the key and found Mr. Sanchez in the room. He was on a laptop computer when I went in.”
Sanchez was arrested in the room without incident and escorted out of the room.
“He then escaped custody from the patrolman,” Lopez said. “He kicked the patrolman and began running, wearing handcuffs.”
He didn’t get far.
“We initially detained a total of six people,” Lopez said.
Officers executed search warrant on room and a rental car.
“There was overwhelming evidence in the room. We found mail from Farmington and Bloomfield area, and equipment for making fake IDs,” he said. “We also found meth in the purse of Rachel Sanchez. She was charged with meth possession.”
Louie Sanchez was arrested on charges through the U.S. Marshal’s office.
“Louie Sanchez had six felony warrants, including credit card fraud and two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer. He struck a federal agent with a car several months earlier,” Lopez said.
He said U.S. Marshals had been tracking the case since May. “They were constantly on the move,” he said
“They thought they were one step ahead of the feds. They’ll hit an area, like Farmington, breaking into boxes and take all the mail,” Lopez said. “Federal agents from the U.S. Postal Service told us these guys had been destructive in Farmington. They take whatever information they can get from your checking and savings accounts and credit card numbers.”
Lopez said all suspects were turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals.
“The investigation is continuing, and we were asked to be available to assist further, if needed,” he said.

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