- NUCLEAR WEAPONS-PLUTONIUM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Members of New Mexico's congressional delegation are finding themselves in an awkward position as watchdog groups claim the U.S. government is skirting one of the nation's key environmental laws. Critics say the government is refusing to take a bigger look at the consequences of ramping up production of key plutonium components for the nation's nuclear arsenal. As supporters of bringing more defense spending to the state, the Democratic lawmakers have been reticent to speak about on whether there should be a more in-depth review of the plutonium core project follows their intense criticism just days earlier of the Trump administration's plans to roll back environmental oversight of other federal projects.
- MEDICAL MARIJUANA-HOUSE ARREST
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man serving a house arrest sentence for drunken driving is suing to be allowed to use medical marijuana. KOAT-TV reports attorney Jacob Candelaria recently filed a lawsuit in state district court on behalf of Joe Montano, who said authorities recently seized his medical cannabis. According to court documents, correctional officers searched Montano's home while he was on house arrest, found the marijuana, and put him in jail for a month as punishment. The petition is seeking a judge to order the jail to allow him to possess and use his medical marijuana. Metropolitan Detention Center Chief of Corrections Ralph Fernadez says medical marijuana use is prohibited in the detention center and by those in house arrest.
- UBER RIDER-ARREST
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A man accused of trying to kidnap his Uber driver in Colorado is being held in New Mexico. KOB-TV in Albuquerque reported Sunday that 23-year-old Adam Salaz was arrested in Carlsbad over the weekend by local deputies. Police say Salaz ordered an Uber near Grand Junction on Saturday. When the driver arrived, Salaz alleged flashed a gun at her and ordered her to drive him to the desert. Authorities say the driver escaped by jumping out of the car as it was moving. She only suffered minor injuries. Salaz is now facing kidnapping charges.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico forward Carlton Bragg Jr. has been dismissed from the Lobos basketball team following his arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and marijuana possession. In a statement Sunday, coach Paul Weir said Bragg needs to focus on his personal well-being. The arrest comes nine days after the 24-year-old Bragg was reinstated to the team. He had received a three-game suspension while university officials investigated sexual misconduct allegations against him by another student. Bragg was arrested at a sobriety checkpoint in Albuquerque Sunday, hours after the 15-and-3 Lobos beat Air Force.
- TROUBLED SANTA FE POLICE
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Attorneys say a scathing report that found dozens of issues with the Santa Fe Police Department's handling and storage of evidence is just the beginning. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports an audit from a public safety consultant release Friday found that evidence for a sexual assault from 2015, "could not be located after a prolonged search." The audit also found that 40 percent of inventory for misdemeanor cases should be disposed because it was held past the statute of limitations. Chief Public Defender Bennett Baur says the report shows that police and prosecution practices have to be challenged around the state.
- BORDER PATROL FREEZING CELLS
PHOENIX (AP) — The trial for a years-old lawsuit challenging detention conditions in Border Patrol stations is set to begin. The Border Patrol has faced scrutiny over the past year for reportedly dangerous and unsanitary conditions in its facilities as hundreds of thousands of migrants have come to the southern border. In Tucson, a judge is presiding over a trial for a lawsuit that was first filed in June 2015 and that targets the agency's Tucson Sector, which has eight stations in Arizona. Attorneys say migrants are held in unsanitary and freezing conditions with no access to medical care. The trial starts Monday.
- POLICE SHOOTING-LAWSUIT
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A lawsuit accuses Albuquerque police of wrongfully killing a pipe-wielding man during a 2018 encounter in a home after officers found him hiding in a closet. The lawsuit filed Tuesday by 24-year-old Daniel Saavedra's sister says police should have tried to defuse the situation before entering the apartment and cornering Saavedra. The Albuquerque Journal reports that lapel camera video shows officers shooting as 24-year-old Daniel Saavedra leapt out into an empty bedroom, swinging a metal pip near officers. Saavedra formerly lived in the apartment and police were called after he broke into it. The lawsuit said Saavedra was suffering from psychosis. Police Department spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said the city's lawyers would respond to the lawsuit's allegations in court.
- TEXAS JUDGE-DWI CASE DISMISSED
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A judge has dismissed a case in New Mexico against a Texas judge accused of driving under the influence. KRQE-TV reported Friday that deputies from the Sante Fe County Sheriff's Office arrested El Paso Magistrate Judge Ray Gutierrez in October after he allegedly backed into another vehicle in the Santa Fe Opera parking lot. Authorities say Gutierrez performed poorly during field sobriety tests and had a blood alcohol content above the legal limit. Defense attorneys for Guiterrez say the state couldn't verify the authenticity of the video evidence. Officials say the judge suppressed that evidence and prosecutors dismissed the charges.