January 23, 2023

Peña sent to pre-trial detention in case of shooting at politicians’ houses

The former Republican candidate who allegedly masterminded the shooting of four houses of Democrats  was ordered to remain in pre-trial detention during a hearing in Second Judicial District Court on Monday.

Judge Brett Loveless granted prosecutors’ motion to keep Solomon Peña, 39, in pre-trial detention for a charge of receipt, transportation or possession of a firearm or destructive device by certain persons.

Peña remains incarcerated at Metropolitan Detention Center in Albuquerque.

The charge is among 15 charges against Peña in the case of four drive-by shootings at Democratic politician’s homes in December and January.

Peña was charged on four counts each of shooting at a dwelling or occupied building, shooting at or from a motor vehicle and conspiracy to shoot at a dwelling or occupied building. He was also charged with receipt, transportation or possession of a firearm or destructive device by certain persons, attempt to commit a felony, to wit: aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and criminal solicitation to commit shooting at a dwelling or occupied building.

Peña was the alleged mastermind in a series of shootings that  took place at the homes of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa, then-Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley, state Sen. Linda Lopez and state Rep. Javier Martinez. State Sen. Anthony “Moe” Maestas’ law office and Attorney General Raúl Torrez’s campaign headquarters also reported shootings. Police have not linked these shootings to the other four.

Peña allegedly hired four men to shoot at the Democrats’ homes and allegedly participated himself in one of the shootings.

Peña ran for state House in 2022 in a deeply Democratic district. He lost by nearly 50 percentage points to the incumbent Democrat and said the election was “rigged.” The self-described “MAGA king” also questioned the legitimacy of elections in the 2nd Congressional District of New Mexico and in Arizona.

He is also being investigated for potentially illegally obtained campaign contributions.