A former GOP candidate for the New Mexico House of Representatives has been indicted for his alleged role in a series of drive-by shootings targeting the homes of four elected officials in the state.
Following his failed bid for the seat in New Mexico’s 14th District during the 2022 midterm elections, Solomon Peña orchestrated shootings at the homes of two Bernalillo County commissioners and two New Mexico state legislators between Dec. 3, 2022, and Jan. 3, according to the Justice Department's indictment, which was unsealed Wednesday.
Before planning the shooting spree, Peña visited the homes of at least three Bernalillo County commissioners, the DOJ said, in an effort to get them not to certify the results of the election, which he claimed had been “rigged” against him.
Peña allegedly worked with two accomplices — Demetrio Trujillo and Jose Trujillo — to carry out the shootings, and carried out one on his own, according to the indictment. Family members of the officials, including children, were in the homes during at least three of the shootings, though no one was wounded or killed in any of the shootings.
“In America, the integrity of our voting system is sacrosanct,” Alexander M.M. Uballez, the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico, said in a statement Wednesday.
“These charges strike at the heart of our democracy," he said. "Voters, candidates, and election officials must be free to exercise their rights and do their jobs safely and free from fear, intimidation, or influence, and with confidence that law enforcement and prosecuting offices will lead the charge when someone tries to silence the will of the people.”