Alleged BB gun vandals busted

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Windows of six cars shot out on Fourth of July

By Martin Salazar

Las Vegas police have charged two men in the vandalism spree that occurred on July 4 in which the windows of six vehicles were shot out.

Paul L. Valdez, 20, who lives on Baca Avenue, and John Sotres, 19, who lives on the 1100 block of Fourth Street are each facing six petty misdemeanor counts of criminal damage to property and six misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit criminal damage to property.

Valdez was taken into custody last Thursday because he was on probation in an unrelated case. Magistrate Chris Najar ordered him held in lieu of a $15,000 cash bond. Sotres will be summoned into court to answer to the charges, according to documents filed last week in San Miguel County Magistrate Court.

The break in the case came on July 10 when a confidential information tipped Las Vegas police officer Anthony Madrid that that Valdez and Sotres were the individuals who shot out the  windows with a BB gun during the early morning hours of July 4.

Shortly after midnight on that day, dispatch received multiple calls that individuals inside a red or maroon four door car were shooting out windows with a BB gun. Las Vegas police took reports on four different vehicles having their windows shot out. A Highlands police officer took reports of two additional vehicles having their windows shot out, and the description of the suspect’s vehicle was the same.

Armed with the tip, officer Madrid and officer David Coca interviewed Valdez at his home. Valdez told the officers that he and Sotres were in Montezuma shooting at frogs with a BB gun. He said that as they were returning to Las Vegas, Sotresshot out the windows to two vehicles near the “projects” on Hot Springs, according to court documents. He told officers that he was driving his grandmother’s vehicle. Police say that Valdez admitted to shooting out some of the windows himself, including windows of vehicles parked on Baca.

Police say Valdez turned over the BB gun used. Because Valdez was on probation, officers contacted his probation officer, and an arrest order was issued. He was booked last Thursday into the San Miguel County Detention Center, where he remained this week.

Sotres, meanwhile, appeared at the police station where he was interviewed by Madrid and Sgt. Michael Lopez.

According to court documents, Sotres told police he had shot out about three windows and Valdez shot out another three windows.