ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – When the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office pulled over Jose Trujillo on January 3, the agency had no idea they were starting to unravel the case that would become a national headline. Trujillo would lead them to the man behind the shootings at the homes of four democratic politicians.
Albuquerque Police announced their investigation into the shootings two days after Trujillo’s arrest. But, he was not on their radar just yet. Phone calls Trujillo made from the jail show he was worried he would be soon.
- What Solomon Peña’s case says about New Mexico politics
- Judge: Solomon Peña to stay behind bars through trial
- Investigation continues on shootings at homes of elected officials
- Police open investigation into campaign funds tied to Solomon Peña
- Prosecutors seek to keep Solomon Peña behind bars ahead of trial in shooting case
- Albuquerque Police arrest former House candidate tied to shootings at elected officials’ homes
Trujillo’s first phone call from the Metropolitan Detention Center was to a family member. He immediately asked that she contact Solomon Peña. “I need you to do me a favor, though. I need you to call my dad and have him call Solomon and talk to him about hiring me a lawyer,” he told her.
Trujillo made a total of seven calls to three people over two days. He repeated that request to each one of them. “I just need a lawyer ASAP,” he told another woman.
He also wanted to know if police had the right to search his car after his arrest. He asked the women he called to “do research” to find out the answer. “That’s a f bulls**t lie. And I told them, ‘No, you can’t do inventory.’ I was like the car’s already locked and it’s already on the property,” Trujillo explained.
BCSO pulled Trujillo over for an expired registration. The deputy ran his name and learned Trujillo had a warrant for his arrest because he didn’t show up for a court hearing last fall in a stalking case.
Before the car was towed, the deputies took inventory. It’s a requirement, they told Trujillo, to confirm the tow company does not take anything. What they found revealed why Trujillo was so upset.
He told one of the women he called, “They caught me with 493 beans in one bag and then they caught me with 364 in another bag.” That’s almost 900 fentanyl pills. The deputies also located a wad of more than $3,000 in cash and two firearms. It’s clear why Trujillo was so fixated on the legality of the search.
Trujillo: Call Solomon and tell him to f* put the money down on my st because I’m the reason he got pulled over because of his stupid a** license plate.
Woman: Okay, yeah.
Trujillo: Cause yeah, f* stupid a registration sticker.
The car belonged to Peña. The calls proved they know each other. And, one of the confiscated guns broke open APD’s case. A ballistics test linked the Glock to the shooting at State Senator Linda Lopez’s home. The shooting happened just 40 minutes before Trujillo was stopped, according to APD.
Investigators believe he is one of the four shooters involved in Peña’s plot. Trujillo remains in custody, but he’s in a federal prison. The FBI picked up Trujillo’s case and charged him with possession of a machine gun, possession with intent to distribute more than 40 grams but less than 400 grams of fentanyl, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
APD said Peña paid Trujillo’s Dad, Demetrio, $500 to carry out the shootings. In one of the phone calls Trujillo made from MDC, he tried to get ahold of his Dad but he didn’t answer.