One failed political candidate from New Mexico allegedly issued payments to a group of men to go out and shoot up the personal residences of other legislators in the wake of his 2022 election bid loss, as explained by area police.
After running for the state House under the Republican banner and failing, Solomon Peña was taken into custody this past Monday with alleged connections to a large string of shootings that officials with the Albuquerque Police Department claimed was directly targeting the personal residences of a number of Democratic legislators, as reported by the Albuquerque Journal. The list of victims included a pair of county commissioners and another pair of state legislators, all under the Democratic party. No one has been injured in these attacks.
“Peña, an unsuccessful legislative candidate in the 2022 election, is accused of conspiring with, and paying four other men to shoot at the homes of 2 county commissioners and 2 state legislators,” explained Harold Medina, the area chief of police.
Police officials stated that a total of five people were reportedly involved in the long string of attacks, at least two of which were allegedly carried out by others and one of which was allegedly carried out by Peña themself. Police were able to make use of cell phone records in their attempts to prove his alleged involvement.
Peña has since been fairly silent on the political front in the wake of his failed bid to secure the 14th district, which has historically been under Democrat control prior to the recent redrawing of the districts. The most recent tweet from his official campaign account was sent out back on the 15th of November. It stated that he was going to be “researching my options.”
As expressed in the Albuquerque Journal, Peña has previously had a number of run-ins with the law, having been sentenced to a stint of close to seven years in prison on charges of theft that started back in 2008. His conviction was the primary subject of heavy scrutiny throughout his previous campaign, and his political opponent, Rep. Miguel P. Garcia, attempted while ultimately failing to have him fully disqualified over it. Garcia wound up winning the election for the district by a total of 3,600 votes.
Peña was quick to dispute the results of his election, as explained by the Associated Press, and confronted some state and county legislators due to the results. The conversations did not end up going anywhere at all, and the shootings quickly kicked off in the weeks following the failure of Peña’s disputes.