ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A Valencia County man charged with threatening to kill Gov. Susana Martinez appeared before a judge Friday.
James Sanchez, 61, is accused of making five threatening phone calls to the governor's office, but his threats didn't start there.
Myles Culbertson, executive director of the New Mexico Livestock Board, said his agency has been dealing with Sanchez for nearly four years over his concerns about cows roaming freely on roads and on his Valencia County property.
Culbertson said Sanchez once told Livestock Board staff that he was going to do to them what he did to people in Vietnam. Sanchez is a Vietnam veteran.
In March Sanchez apparently took his threats to the governor's office, and according to a criminal complaint, in August he threatened to kill Martinez.
Sanchez is being held on a cash-only $100,000 bond and is charged with five counts of harassment and making telephone threats.
While Sanchez's attorney believes that's far too high for misdemeanor charges, Department of Public Safety Secretary Gorden Eden said Sanchez should be in jail.
"Sooner or later that person rises to the level where they're going to carry something out, and that's why it's so important that he continues to remain behind bars," Eden said.
Leaving court, Sanchez said he was not threatening to harm the governor physically, just politically.
"I threatened her politically," Sanchez said. " I told her I was going to destroy her, and I am.
"When I'm done with her she won't be able to get elected dog catcher in Juarez, Mexico."
Sanchez also has a case from April pending in Socorro County. According to that criminal complaint, Sanchez was chasing cows on a rancher's property with his SUV when the rancher tried to protect the animals with his truck.
Sanchez then apparently rammed the truck. He's charged with four felony counts for that incident and another one involving that family from a week earlier.
Sanchez's trial for the harassing phone calls is set to start in October.
Because of their run-ins with Sanchez, the Livestock Board has increased security at its Albuquerque office. The governor's office has a photo posted of Sanchez inside the desk in case he shows up in person.
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