Farmington man linked to drive-by-shooting last week


FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – A Farmington man charged with his baby’s drowning death this year is making headlines once again. This time, accused of attempted murder stemming from a shooting last month. 

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Twenty-one-year-old Jaden Ortega was just arrested by the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office this past week. Authorities are linking him to a drive-by shooting that took place last month near Farmington. “There’s some sort of beef with this individual (Ortega) and he targeted a victim and his family and fired at the vehicle,” said Kevin Burns, Captain with San Juan County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the arrest warrant, a sheriff’s detective interviewed a man named Samuel Stevens, who said he was driving Ortega the night of the July 20 shooting. Stevens told the detective that Ortega ordered him to tail one car as it was leaving the Dollar General in Flora Vista. Stevens claims Ortega threatened to kill him if he didn’t shoot the car and the two people inside. The warrant states Samuel admitted to shooting multiple rounds with a gun provided by Ortega.

Fast forward to this past week, authorities arrested Ortega on multiple felony charges Including solicitation to commit murder and attempted murder. This reported shooting comes just over a month after a district judge granted Ortega’s release from jail. Back in February, we reported Ortega was facing a felony child abuse charge after his baby drowned in a bath. Records state Ortega admitted to falling asleep in another room.

Now Captain Burns with the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office hopes Ortega stays behind bars. “From a public safety standpoint, obviously we would love to see him stay incarcerated until trial and we will be filing the appropriate paperwork through the district attorney’s office,” said Captain Burns. 

Ortega has a long criminal history including drug possession and assault charges. Captain Burns said Stevens was also charged in the shooting. He’s being held at the San Juan County Detention Center. Authorities said the two people allegedly targeted in that shooting were injured but are okay. 

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