RIO RANCHO (KRQE) - New details are surfacing in the investigation into a former state police officer and his son arrested for a 2011 cold-case murder.
Sources say the murder was drug-related and possibly tied to a notorious biker gang.
Court records show the former state cop and his son have been arrested before, and so had the victim.
A day after Rio Rancho Police swarmed this home on Mica Drive just off Highway 528, the police tape is down and neighbors are left in shock after learning police arrested Jack McDowell, a retired state cop, and his son, John, Tuesday for murder and aggravated burglary.
"My wife woke up. There was police and SWAT. They had swamped the area with police officers," a neighbor said.
He says he often saw the elder McDowell at this home working on motorcycles.
"He was a quiet guy. He kept to himself."
The McDowells are charged with the murder of 35-year-old James Chavez.
He was found dead in his Rio Rancho home a year and a half ago.
Sources say the murder was over drugs, and either the victim or the suspects could have ties to the Bandidos motorcycle gang.
Online court records show all three of the men have been in trouble with the law before.
A few years after retiring from state police, Jack McDowell pled guilty to drug charges.
His son was in court for gun, assault and burglary charges.
The victim had been arrested for dealing cocaine.
"It just shows, you don't ever really know who your neighbor is. I think it's critical to get out and find out who you're living next to because anything can happen," a neighbor says.
The McDowells were in court Wednesday for their arraignment. A judge kept their bond at $1 million each, cash-only.
As far as a motive, state police have only said the younger McDowell knew Chavez.
Investigators still won't say how Chavez was murdered.
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