ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Court records show Sylvan Alcachupas, the man accused of shooting and killing a pizzeria owner, has a long criminal record. He even had a warrant out for his arrest at the time of the murder and was on probation in Valencia County. So why was he on the streets in the first place? 

Alcachupas was charged in August 2020 with armed robbery for robbing a Speedway in Valencia County. He was given a plea deal there just this year to be on ‘supervised probation’ and given no jail time. 

Wednesday, while at a press conference Mayor Tim Keller said, “This particular issue has its own background and history, but part of it is someone who probably should not have been on the streets at that moment with a gun.”

Online records show his criminal charges date back to 2014. charges include dealing drugs, shoplifting, domestic violence, criminal trespassing with many of his cases being dismissed. Last year – Alcachupas was arrested for aggravated fleeing and reckless driving when the Albuquerque Police Department says he led officers on a dangerous chase. 

Then, earlier this month Alcachupas was arrested at his southeast Albuquerque home by New Mexico State Police after he was found driving a stolen car with heroin in it. He was released on bond in that case. 

This latest arrest violated his probation for the robbery in Los Lunas but Alcachupas was still roaming the streets. The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office agrees Alcachupa shouldn’t have been on the streets and his probation in Valencia County should have been revoked when he picked up another charge weeks ago. 

Adolfo Mendez is the Chief of Policy Planning, for the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office. He explains, “The stolen car case that came to us should have triggered a probation revocation process because he was already a convicted felon in a different district.”

The Valencia County District Attorney’s Office would not explain why they did not try to have his probation revoked. KRQE News 13 then asked the Valencia County District Attorney’s office why it agreed to a plea deal for the robbery at the Speedway gas station when Alcachupas has such an extensive criminal history.

A spokesperson with the Valencia County DA’s office told KRQE even though Alcachupas had been arrested before – he did not have quote “usable felony convictions” that would allow the court to impose mandatory prison time. 

Here is the full statement: 

“The events that transpired last night are extremely tragic and our hearts go out to the murdered victim and his family. Unfortunately, human behavior is unpredictable, and pleas are an essential part of the criminal justice system. When a defendant takes a plea agreement, he is taking responsibility for his actions and victims are not forced to relive the trauma over and over by having to testify in court. This defendant had been arrested before, however; he did not have usable felony convictions that would allow the court to impose mandatory prison time. A motion to provoke probation was filed on 8/23 ”


Jessica Martinez, Chief Deputy District Attorney, Valencia County

Alcachupas was booked into MDC where he’ll await his first appearance.