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NM GOP Candidate Arrested For Drive-By Shootings At Dems' Homes

A former Republican candidate for the New Mexico state legislature was arrested Monday for his suspected involvement in a string of drive-by shootings at the homes of Democratic elected officials. Solomon Peña, 39, who lost his race for state representative to his Democratic opponent in November, was accused of helping orchestrate the shootings and participating in at least one of them. The homes of two county officials and two state legislators, including the New Mexico House speaker, were hit in the drive-by shootings. Nobody was hurt in the incidents, which took place over the past several weeks, though the homes sustained damage, the Wall Street Journal reports. “We believe he was the mastermind behind this,” said Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina.

Peña was upset after losing his race, authorities said, and paid four other men cash and sent text messages with home addresses where he wanted them to shoot. Afterg the most recent shooting, on Jan. 3, a car was pulled over in connection to the incident and two firearms and more than 800 fentanyl pills were seized. The car was owned by Peña. Police said Peña went with the men and attempted to shoot at one of the homes, but the AR pistol he was using malfunctioned. One of the other men fired more than a dozen rounds from a separate handgun during that shooting, police said. This month, police also arrested another man for his alleged involvement in the incidents. After his election loss, Peña approached several local lawmakers unannounced at their homes saying he had evidence the election was fraudulent. He grew angry when his entreaties were ignoredd began executing his plan to shoot at the homes of the Democratic officials.


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