From The Associated Press
Cities announce gun disposals
ALBUQUERQUE — Albuquerque and Santa Fe city officials are moving forward with plans for gun disposal and buyback programs.
Cities across the country have started similar programs in the wake of a deadly school shooting in Connecticut.
Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry and Police Chief Ray Schultz say anyone from throughout New Mexico wishing to get rid of firearms or ammunition will be able to do so every Saturday in January.
The drop-off point will be the police department’s crime lab.
Guns will also be accepted every second Saturday of each month after January.
Officials say no questions will be asked and any firearms with significant historical value will be preserved. All guns will also be checked to ensure they’re not stolen.
In Santa Fe, Mayor David Coss is working with the police department on the details for that city’s first buyback event.
DNA legislation passes Congress
ALBUQUERQUE — Legislation named after a slain New Mexico State University student has been passed by Congress and is now awaiting the president’s signature.
U.S. Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall reignited the push for a national “Katie’s Law” last year. The legislation was aimed at creating incentives for states to implement programs to collect DNA from individuals arrested or charged with serious crimes.
The legislation passed the Senate late Friday. House approval came the week before Christmas.
Katie Sepich was raped and murdered in 2003. Because New Mexico at the time did not collect DNA from felony arrestees, her killer wasn’t identified when he was arrested that same year for unrelated crimes.
It was three years before he was identified with DNA evidence after he was convicted of another crime.
City manager makes plea deal
LAS CRUCES — A former Sunland Park city manager faces five years of supervised probation for his role in a political scandal that involved a secretly recorded video of a mayoral candidate getting a topless lap dance.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that 62-year-old Jaime Aguilera has pleaded guilty to extortion and evidence-tampering charges related to the attempted blackmail of Gerardo Hernandez.
He acknowledged his role in the creation of the video and a photograph that showed Hernandez receiving the lap dance.
As part of a plea agreement, Aguilera will also testify in 16 other Sunland Park corruption cases that are pending.
That list of cases includes four against Daniel Salinas, the former Sunland Park mayor-elect and election rival of Hernandez.
Salinas is facing nearly three dozen charges that include extortion, bribery, fraud and illegal kickbacks. Salinas has pleaded not guilty.