A New Mexico man has admitted that he was paid by a failed Republican candidate to target the homes of his political rivals.
Demetrio Trujillo pled guilty to carrying out three drive-by shootings at the homes of election officials in 2022, according to court documents filed on Friday in Albuquerque District Court.
Trujillo told prosecutors that he’d been paid by Solomon Peña, who’d selected the targets because he believed that they’d rigged the election for the 14th district of New Mexico’s House of Representative against him in 2022.
As the election results rolled in, Peña tweeted “I dissent. I am the MAGA king.” State Rep. Miguel Garcia, secured 5,679 votes while Peña only earned 2,033, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
According to Trujillo, the men decided to intimidate officials after the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners voted to certify that Peña had lost the election on Nov. 21, 2022.
Trujillo admitted to carrying out the Dec. 4 shooting at the home of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa, and the Dec. 8 shooting at the home of State House Speaker-elect Javier Martinez. Trujillo said that he and Peña had both gone to the home of state Senator Linda Lopez on Jan. 3, where Trujillo had fired eight shots, three of which went through the window of her 10-year-old daughter’s bedroom. No injuries were reported in any of the shootings.
Trujillo pled guilty to conspiracy, two counts of interference with federally protected activities, using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and discharging said firearm. His sentencing has not yet been scheduled, according to a statement from the United States Attorney’s Office in New Mexico.
Peña was arrested in January 2023 after ballistic evidence linked him to one of the shootings. He is accused of conspiring to carry out these attacks with four men, including Trujillo and his son, Jose Louise Trujillo. He is scheduled to stand trial in June 2024.