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Major J.D."Will" Wilmeth

Please refer all requests for Crimianal Complaints to the Courts.

Please refer all request for mug shots to Lea County Detention Center.

March 14, 2014 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lea County, New Mexico (March 14, 2014) – The Lea County Sheriff’s Office is warning everyone about a recent telephone and email scam that is going on in Lea County and other parts of the state. Residents have contacted the Sheriff’s Office to report being contacted by individuals claiming to be with the Sheriff’s Office, who inform the resident they have a Failure to Appear Warrant for their arrest, usually for failing to appear for Jury Duty. THIS IS A SCAM. Sheriff’s Offices and other law enforcement agencies do not contact residents and attempt to arrange payment for violations of any type over the phone or through the internet.  If you or someone you know receives a phone call from anyone claiming to be from a law enforcement agency  and they attempt to collect money from you by offering to dismiss charges or cancel a warrant, DO NOT send them any money or provide them any additional information. Contact your local law enforcement agency instead. The suspects in this SCAM have used the names Lieutenant Martin, Sergeant Truett, and other aliases. They may claim to be from the Warrants or Civil Process Divisions, and will know much of the information that can be obtained from viewing a law enforcement agency’s website or social media site. Residents are urged to contact law enforcement agencies directly by their published phone numbers or by viewing their official websites. If anyone has received calls or emails of this type, please contact the law enforcement agency in your community. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lovington, New Mexico (February 10,2014) -A recent investigation by Lea County Sheriff's Office Deputies has resulted in the arrest of Marcus D. Orosco (19) of Lovington on charges of Robbery and Unlawful Taking of a Motor Vehicle. The investigation established probable cause to believe Orosco was one of two men who injured a man and stole his wallet and car. According to the victim, Eleazar Condarco (33), of Hobbs, two males knocked on his door and when he opened it, one of the men pointed a gun at him. Condarco reported he was hit in the head with the gun, and his wallet and vehicle were taken. He was able to provide some identification information on both of the assailants to Investigators. Condarco was treated for minor injuries at the scene by Hobbs EMS. The next day, Lea County Sheriff's Deputies were searching for a vehicle used in a gas skip in Hobbs. The vehicle description given in the gas skip matched the vehicle taken in the robbery the previous evening. Deputies located the vehicle near State Road 18 and Alabama. A vehicle stop was conducted on Alabama. Orosco was found to be driving the vehicle at the time it was stopped by deputies. He was subsequently arrested and charged with Robbery and Unlawful Taking of a Motor Vehicle, booked into the Lea County Detention Center and held in lieu of $100,000 bond. Two other subjects in the vehicle were released after it was determined they were not involved in the Robbery.

The identity of the second assailant is not being released as the investigation is continuing. Charges have not been filed on the second individual yet.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

January 30, 2014

 

Lea County, New Mexico (January 29, 2014) Lea County Sheriffs Deputies participated in a multi-agency pursuit on Wednesday which began in Eunice and ended in Andrews County, Texas. The pursuit began when the owner of a maroon 2013 Dodge pickup, which had been reported stolen earlier in the week to Hobbs Police, observed the pickup in the area of Monument, NM. The vehicle headed south on State Road 8 from Monument towards Eunice, NM, followed by the owner. The owner of the stolen vehicle notified the Lea County Communications Authority who alerted the Sheriff's Office and Eunice Police. Upon its entry into Eunice, the vehicle was pursued by Eunice Police Officers. The pursuit was taken over by Lea County Sheriff's Deputies near State Road 248 and State Road 18. Lea County deputies maintained the pursuit of the vehicle as the driver fled east towards Andrews, TX. Once Texas authorities arrived in the area of the pursuit, Lea County deputies relinquished control to Andrews County Sheriff's deputies. The pursuit ended in Texas with the arrest of the driver by Texas officials.

For details regarding the involvement of Eunice Officers or the actions by Texas authorities, please contact those agencies directly.

July 31, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Lovington, New Mexico (July 31, 2013) – The Lea County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting which occurred in the 2000 block of N. Bensing Road near Hobbs which left multiple Lea County residents injured. Approximately 1022 PM, July 30th, the Lea County Communications Authority (LCCA) received a report of an individual who had been shot in the mouth. A second call received from another address in the same block reported the sounds of multiple gunshots and a white colored SUV was seen leaving the area. Sheriff’s deputies and Hobbs EMS subsequently responded to 2030 N. Bensing Road, where they found Karen Teel (49), Jerry Teel (24), Omar Gutierrez (23) and Joe David Delao (18) suffering various gunshot injuries. The injured were transported to Lea Regional Medical Center for emergency care. Karen Teel, Omar Gutierrez and Joe David Delao were subsequently transferred to University Medical Center – Lubbock where Teel is being treated for gunshot wounds to the cheek, neck and arm. Gutierrez is being treated for a gunshot injury to his right hand. Delao is being treated for a gunshot injury to his lower back. All three are in stable condition as of this press release. Jerry Teel was treated for a gunshot graze to the right side of his head at Lea Regional Hospital and released.In the early morning hours of July 31, 2013, Sheriff’s investigators and deputies served a search warrant at a residence in the 6900 block of N. Country Road in relation to this shooting.  Four individuals were located who are believed to have knowledge or some connection to the shooting. Investigation into this matter is continuing and no other information can be released at this time. 

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  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Lovington, New Mexico (July 2, 2013) – The Lea County Sheriff’s Office and the New Mexico Sheriff’s Association awarded two $700.00 scholarships to Lea County high school graduates this year. Justin T. Dunford, a 2013 Hobbs High Graduate, is a member of the National Honor Society and will be pursuing a law degree. Justin is the son of Tom and Jennifer Dunford of Hobbs. Joshua N. Clayton, a 2013 Lovington High School Graduate and active member in New Beginnings Youth Group, will pursue a degree in biology. Josh is the son of Keith and Yoly Clayton, of Lovington. Custom Welding of Hobbs was this year’s Platinum Sponsor.                                                                                      

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:  April 04, 2013
Time:  0845
CONTACT:
Chief Deputy Jon C. Martinez
Criminal and Patrol Division
(575) 396-3611
Lea County Sheriff's Department criminal investigators are investigating a shooting that left a man dead in the Hobbs area.

Last night, at 6:20 p.m., deputies were dispatched to a report of a shooting in the 3200 block of West Jones Road.  When deputies arrived, they found a victim of a fatal gunshot wound.

The victim is a 44 year old white male.  He has been identified but his name will be withheld until his family can be notified.  Investigators are currently processing the scene for evidence and following up on investigative leads.

Anyone with information related to this incident is encouraged to contact the Criminal Investigations Division at (575) 396-3611 or Crime Stoppers at (575) 393-8005.

For Immediate Release 

 

LOVINGTON, NM (April 2, 2013) The Lea County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the unattended death of an individual tentatively identified as Troy Lee Allen, 10/28/75, who was reported missing from Andrews County, Texas. Lea County Sheriff’s Office deputies were looking for Mr Allen’s vehicle after he was reported missing and located it approximately 8 miles north of US Highway 380 on Nine Ranch Road, Lea County, NM. Mr Allen was found in a pasture approximately 2 miles east of his vehicle. No cause or manner of death has been determined as of this release. Mr Allen’s body will be sent to the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator for an autopsy. No other details are available as of this release.

PRESS RELEASE:

 

March 29, 2013                   

 

On March 28, 2013, the Lea County Drug Task Force received information indicating that an individual identified as Johnny Garrett would be operating a blue in color Chevy pickup truck pulling a black in color vehicle trailer with a black in color passenger car loaded onto the trailer.  The information indicated that the trailer also contained a stolen four wheeler and an additional stolen four wheeler in the bed of the pickup.  Additional information indicated that another white pickup would be traveling with the suspect and would contain a stolen go kart/dune buggy. 

 

Lea County Drug Task Force Agents located the vehicles traveling westbound on US 62-180 and followed them as they turned onto State Road 529. At approximately mile marker 18 the white pickup pulled to the side of the road apparently to secure a tarp that had been covering the stolen go kart/dune buggy.  Lea County Drug Task Force Agents approached the vehicle at this point and the driver fled the scene.

 

At approximately mile marker 17 the blue pickup towing the trailer pulled over and stopped for an unknown reason.  At this time Lea County Drug Task Force Agents approached the vehicle and detained the occupants.  The driver was identified as Johnny Garrett and the passenger was identified as Delores Lomeli.

 

A Lea County Drug Task Force Agent followed the white pickup until a marked unit from the Lea County Sheriff’s Department arrived on scene.  At this time the white pickup pulled to the side of the road and the driver was detained.  The driver of the white pickup was identified as John Duran.

 

The suspects and vehicles were transported back to the Lea County Sheriff’s Department for further investigation.  The Lea County Drug Task Force with the assistance of the Lea County Sheriff’s Department then conducted search warrants on both pickups.  As a result of the search warrant the following stolen items were recovered:

 

RJ Flat Bed Trailer valued at $3000.00 stolen out of Hobbs PD on March 24, 2013

White Chevy Pickup valued at $2500.00 reported to the Lea County DTF on March 28, 2013

Yamaha 450 ATV valued at $6000.00 stolen out of Hobbs PD on March 24, 2013

Yamaha ATV valued at $1400.00 stolen out of Hobbs PD on March 26, 2013

Go Kart/Dune Buggy valued at $1400.00 stolen out of Hobbs PD on March 28, 2013

 

In addition a Methamphetamine pipe was seized as evidence.

   

On March 28, 2013, Johnny Garrett (27 yoa) of Hobbs, NM was arrested on four counts of Unlawful Taking of a Motor Vehicle (Fourth Degree Felony – punishable by 18 months in prison on each count) and one count of Larceny of $2500.00 (Third Degree Felony – punishable by 3 years in prison). He was booked into the Lea County Detention Facility on a $30,000 bond.

 

On March 28, 2013, John Duran (33 yoa) of Artesia, NM was arrested on two counts of Unlawful Taking of a Motor Vehicle (Fourth Degree Felony – punishable by 18 months in prison).  He was booked into the Lea County Detention Facility on a $10,000 bond.

 

On March 28, 2013, Delores Lomeli  (29 yoa) of Seminole, TX was arrested on one count of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.  She was issued a Non-Traffic Citation and released.

 

Further investigation revealed that at the time of the theft the RJ Flatbed Trailer contained a 10,000 Lb. winch that was missing when the trailer was seized by law enforcement. The Lea County Drug Task Force with the assistance of the Lea County Sheriff’s Department conducted a search warrant at 14316 Canterbury, Hobbs, New Mexico and recovered the winch that was valued at $500.00.

 

For additional information, contact Lea County Drug Task Force Commander Michael Wilson at 575 631-7013.

 

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lovington, New Mexico (March 12, 2013)  – On March 10th, at approximately 1342 hours, Deputies from the Lea County Sheriff’s Department responded to 708 W. Martin, Lea County, in reference to a male subject being shot in the head. Upon arrival, Deputies discovered 19 year old Michael Burns of Hobbs deceased inside the residence. Investigators interviewed several individuals that were inside the residence at the time of the shooting. No further details are available at this time. The investigation into the shooting continues.   

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Lovington, New Mexico (March 6, 2013)  – Timmithy E. Stover (27) of Hobbs has been arrested on charges of Murder, Battery On a Household Member, False Imprisonment, Trafficking a Controlled Substance, Intimidation of a Witness and Child Abuse. He is presently being held at the Lea County Detention Center on a $250,000 bond in connection with the death of his domestic partner Candiace Boone (28) of Hobbs. Approximately 0215, March 5, 2013, Lea County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call regarding an unresponsive female. The female appeared to have been secured at the wrists and ankles with duct tape prior to her death.  Subsequent investigation by the Sheriff’s Office led investigators to believe Stover and Boone were involved in a domestic violence event the prior evening at 1210 W. Scharbauer, Hobbs, NM. During this event, Stover allegedly forced Boone out of her vehicle and into his before leaving the area. Stover then drove the couple to an acquaintance’s home at 401 W. Kansas, Lea County, where he displayed a small black pistol and forced the two residents of the home to assist him in restraining Boone using duct tape on her wrists and ankles. Stover also allegedly forced one of the two to record what he was doing using a cellular phone. Stover allegedly stuck a sock in Boone’s mouth, securing it with a bandana which he tied around her head. Throughout this period of time, Stover continued to beat Boone. He then dragged her to a rear bedroom of the house where he resumed striking her before leaving her unattended in the room. An undetermined period of time transpired after which one of the occupants in the house checked on Boone and determined she was unresponsive.  During the course of subsequent interviews Stover admitted injecting Boone with methamphetamine prior to their argument. It was also determined a minor child was present at the residence on Kansas during the events there. Statements made by the child during their interview lead investigators to believe the child observed much of what occurred. Boone was transported to the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque for an autopsy. The cause of death has not been determined and the investigation is continuing. No other information is being released at this time as the investigation remains active. 
Contact NumbersMain Office Line:        (575) 396-8200
Direct Office Line:      (575) 396-8202

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Lovington, New Mexico (February 24, 2013)Approximately 4:10 PM, February 24, 2013, Lea County Sheriff’s deputies and officers from the Lovington Police Department responded to 3615 Tatum Highway regarding an individual having been shot. Upon their arrival, they discovered a number of persons present and one individual who had been shot. The victim, identified as David Rogers (52) of Hobbs, had suffered a single gunshot wound to the head and was transported to Nor-Lea Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased. Mr Woodrow Dunn, Sr (59) of Tatum reported to Sheriff’s Investigators that he had made arrangements with Rogers to pick up Woodrow K. Dunn, Jr (32) of Tatum, who Rogers was bringing back in to town from a job site in the oilfield. The two had agreed to meet along the roadside on the Tatum Highway. According to Dunn Sr, Rogers had told him Woodrow Dunn, Jr was acting odd. Dunn Sr told investigators he walked Woodrow Dunn, Jr to his pickup and then returned to Rogers’ vehicle to collect some work clothes. As Rogers and  Dunn Sr were talking, Dunn heard a loud bang and realized Rogers had been shot. He turned back to his own vehicle and saw Woodrow K. Dunn Jr holding a weapon that was kept in Dunn Sr’s pickup. Mr Dunn Sr ran to the pickup and took the gun away and called law enforcement. Another witness at the scene identified as Jeremy Stane (34) of Hobbs, provided similar information as to Dunn Sr, adding he had been seated in the rear passenger seat of Roger’s truck when he was shot.   Woodrow K. Dunn Jr, has been arrested on one (1) count of First Degree Murder and was booked into the Lea County Detention Center where he remains a $1,000,000 cash bond. The investigation is continuing. No other information is being released at this time as the investigation remains active. 
Contact Numbers
Main Office Line:        (575) 396-8200

Direct Office Line:      (575) 396-8202

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

Lovington, New Mexico (November 8, 2012) -Lea County Sheriff's deputies have arrested Augustine Munoz (26) of Hobbs and charged him with two (2) open counts of murder and two (2) counts of 1st Degree Kidnapping for the deaths of Leon Sanchez(49) and Frank McClain(44) both of Lovington, NM

On Thursday, November 10,2011, Sheriffs deputies were dispatched to a location off US Highway 82, approximately 4 miles east of Lovington, regarding two bodies found in a pasture. The decedants were identified as Leon Sanchez and Frank McClain. Investigative activity throughout the last year has provided Sheriff's Investigators with probable cause to believe Augustine Munoz was involved in the murders along with Francisco Munoz (20), and Pedro R. Dominguez (27) of Lovington, New Mexico.

Augustine Munoz was booked into the Lea County Detention Center and is being held on a $1,000,000 cash bond. The investigation is continuing. No other information is being rel'eased at this time as the investigation remains active.

From:   Major J.D. “Will” Wilmeth
Lea County Sheriff’s Office
(575) 396-8202 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
Lovington, New Mexico (November 6, 2012)– During the evening hours of November 5, 2012, Lea County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Pedro R. Dominguez (27) of Lovington and charged him with two (2) open counts of murder and two (2) counts of 1stDegree Kidnapping for the deaths of Leon Sanchez (49) and Frank McClain (44), both of Lovington, New Mexico. On Thursday, November 10, 2011, Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a location off US Highway 82, approximately 4 miles east of Lovington, regarding two bodies found in a pasture. The decedents were identified as Leon Sanchez and Frank McClain. Physical evidence collected during the first months of this investigation enabled Sheriff’s Office investigators to identify a white compact car and subsequently locate, fully identify and charge Francisco Munoz (20) of Lovington on charges of kidnapping related to the murders. Further investigative activity has provided Sheriff’s Investigators with probable cause to believe Munoz and Dominguez were involved in the murders along with other individuals who have not yet been located.Munoz has since been charged with two (2) open counts of murder and remains incarcerated since his arrest on a $1,000,000 cash bond. Pedro Dominguez is also being held at the Lea County Detention Center on a $1,000,000 cash bond. The investigation is continuing and additional arrests are anticipated. No other information is being released at this time as the investigation remains active.

 Undersheriff J.D. “Will” Wilmeth

             Lea County Sheriff Office

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
Lovington, New Mexico (November 6, 2012) –The Lea County Sheriff Office is warning consumers of a new phone call scam from miscellaneous telephone numbers informing them they have won a large amount of money and a new car. The caller attempts to determine an address to deliver the prizes to and then instructs the consumer to go to Wal-Mart and purchase a secured credit card and call them back with the card number. The caller will re-assure the consumer that once the consumer reveals the card number to them, the prize money can be wired to the card number and the car will be delivered. Anyone receiving calls like this are urged to contact their phone provider and have the numbers blocked. For information on other types of frauds and scams that are occurring, readers are encouraged to go to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s website on internet crime at http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/internet_fraud/ . This site maintains current information on reported internet fraud practices.  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        SHERIFF MARK C. HARGROVE

10/26/2012

Hobbs- On Thursday, October 25th, 2012 at approximately 3:00 p.m.  Deputies and Investigators from the Lea County Sheriff's Office responded to S.R. 529, mile marker 23, in reference to an unresponsive male. Upon arrival witnesses stated that they observed 49 year old ,Jesus Gaytan drive his vehicle onto a oilfield location, however he did not exit his vehicle after approx. 20 min. witnesses approached the vehicle and noticed Gaytan slumped over in the seat.  Witnesses reported that he was unresponsive and had no pulse. The Office of the Medical Investigators arrived on scene and pronounced Gaytan deceased. Gaytan's body will be sent to Albuquerque for an autopsy. Investigators are still investigating the cause of death.   All suspicious deaths are investigated as homicides until the cause is determined. No further information will be released as of this report. 

October 4, 2012
 To: All Media Outlets 
 From:  Major J.D. “Will” Wilmeth
Lea County Sheriff’s Office
(575) 396-8202 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
 Lovington, New Mexico (October 4, 2012) – Sheriff Mark Hargrove recently received a letter from the Office of the Attorney General of New Mexico informing him the agency’s Biased-Based Policing Policy was in full compliance with New Mexico state statute, meaning the agency is committed to conducting its duties in a manner that is free of illegal bias and prejudice. During the last year, Sheriff Hargrove and his staff have been working diligently to build policies and procedures merging the agency’s role as protector of individual liberties with its role as the primary conservator of the peace within Lea County. Together with Undersheriff Jim Wilmeth and the entire Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Hargrove drafted a set of policies and procedures integrating the protection of Constitutional Rights as a fundamental building block in the department’s overall philosophy and its daily operations. Sheriff’s Office employees perform their tasks with six values in mind: Efficiency, Integrity, Compassion, Respect, Dedication and Accountability, and focus their efforts through Constitutional, statutory and practical guidelines. The Sheriff and staff are very encouraged by this review, and believe it confirms the employees are building a Sheriff’s Office based in values shared in common with the residents of Lea County.

09/18/2012                                                                                                     Sheriff Mark C. Hargrove


HOBBS- On Monday at approximately 9:14 P.M. The Lea County Sheriff's Department was contacted by the Hobbs Police Department, in reference to assistance with a traffic crash at the intersection of Marland and Cochran in Hobbs , NM. Upon arrival It was reported by the Hobbs Police that an officer observed a vehicle matching the description of a vehicle involved in a hit and run crash involving injuries a few minutes prior. The  Officer initiated his emergency equipment and the small blue suspect vehicle fled and refused to stop.  The Officer pursued the vehicle for a short distance, then discontinued the pursuit. The suspect vehicle continued on and collided with another vehicle in the intersection of Marland and Cochran. All parties involved in the crash were transported for medical attention, none of the injuries appear to be life threatening.  The incident is being investigated by the Lea County Sheriff's Department, New Mexico State Police and Motor Transportation Police.  The investigation is continuing, and no enforcement action has been enforced as of report time. No names will be released until the investigation is complete.

08/10/2012

To: Regional Media                                                                           From: Sheriff Mark C. Hargrove

Lovington- In the last few days, I have received several calls and emails regarding the sales tactics of the Vivint Home Security Company. It has been reported to me that the Vivint Company is back in the Lea County area at the Sheriff's Office request, this is a false statement. The Sheriff's Office does not endorse or recommend any company. The reporting citizens also stated that the sales representative stated that houses in the neighborhoods have been burglarized and that one family "had to face the intruder head on" again this is a false statement. A records inquiry was made in a particular area in North Hobbs where I am receiving calls from. No recent burglary reports have been taken and there have been no recent home invasions.

The Lea County Sheriff's Department is committed to the welfare and safety of our citizens, and do recommend home security systems however we will not endorse or recommend a provider.

I attempted to contact Vivints Corporate office and express my concerns, and they would not even afford me the opportunity to speak to a supervisor.  The customer service representative said he would pass the information along and contact a local supervisor in order to stop the false allegations and not use the Lea County Sheriff's Department in their sales tactics. 

 

 

For Immediate Release

Lovington, New Mexico (July 27, 2012) -Lea County Sheriffs Deputies, in cooperation with Deputy United States Marshals and agents from the N.M. Attorney General Office's Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force have completed Operation Complete Clean Up, a local operation focused on assuring the registration compliance of convicted sexual offenders required to register with the Sheriffs Office. Ninety-six (96) compliance checks were conducted county wide beginning Monday, July 23,2012 and ending today, Friday, July 27, 2012. The operation consisted of three teams who made direct contact with offender registrants to determine whether they were in compliance with their statutory requirements. The teams, comprised of one LCSO Deputy, one Attorney General's ICAC Unit Agent and two United States Deputy Marshals, conducted compliance checks on the registered sex offenders in Lea County. The operation resulted in 96 compliance confirmations; 8 compliance confirmations for individuals who were on probation or parole with NM Adult Probation and Parole and were also registered sexual offenders; 27 forensic examinations of electronic storage devices conducted by the Attorney General's ICAC Agents; 7 arrest warrants issued for violations of provisions of the Sex Offender Registration Act, 5 of which have been served, and the service of two additional, non-related arrest warrants issued from the New Mexico Office of Adult Probation and Parole. Persons arrested on warrants for violating the Sex Offender Registry provisions include Jose Elmore (29) of Lovington; Willie Howard (62); Carey Knapp (43); and Juan Pinto (38), all from Hobbs. Marco Ramirez (33), an absconder from Eddy County, was also found and arrested in Hobbs. Maylene DeLeon (32) and Fabian Estrada both of Hobbs were arrested on Adult Probation and Parole warrants.

Random operations of this type are anticipated throughout fiscal year 2012 -2013 to ensure compliance with the Sex Offender Registry. Individuals can access the statewide NM Sex Offender Registry at

http://www.nffisexoffender.dps.state.nm.us/

Persons can also access the Offender Watch website at

http://www.communitynotification.com/cap_safety_1.php?office=54895 

Click to see the KRQE news cast on Lea County Sheriff's Office use of our Aviation Program in Oil Field Thefts

For Immediate Release

Lovington, New Mexico (.July 24, 2012) -The Lea County Sheriff Office is warning consumers of a new credit card scheme offering VISA gift cards. The most recently reported attempt involved an offer of a free $1000.00 VISA gift card given on behalf of the Lea County Sheriffs Office or other law enforcement agencies. The originating email address is from a site in the United Kingdom and is a scam. Individuals receiving this email or emails similar to it should be aware that public agencies such as Sheriff's Departments or Police Departments will not solicit information in this way or offer items such as this to individuals. Anyone receiving emails like this are urged to contact their email provider and the Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx. Chief District Court Judge Gary Clingman has also asked that Lea County residents contact the District Court Clerk directly regarding any emails or texts they receive informing them they are in contempt of court for failing to appear as jurors. The District Courts do not use this form of notification. For information on the types of Internet frauds and scams that are occurring, readers are encouraged to go to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's website on Internet crime at http://wwwJbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/internetfraud/.This site maintains current information on reported Internet fraud practices.

 

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lovington, New Mexico (July 17, 2012) -The Lea County Sheriff Office substation in Hobbs has moved to its new building located at 3720 W. College Lane, in Hobbs. This is also the new mailing address for the substation. The new direct phone number is (575) 397-9600. Persons needing to contact the substation directly are asked to use this number beginning on July 18, 2012. The old substation located on Dal Paso Street is being renovated for use by other County Departments and will no longer have any Sheriff Office personnel in it.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lovington, New Mexico (July 17,2012) - The Honorable Judge Gary L.Clingman  Cheif Judge for the 5th  Judicial District of New Mexico and Lea County Sheriff Mark Hargrove are warning the public that many people are receiving a text message stating their name has been seen on a list in the courthouse or a local newspaper reporting they have failed to appear for jury duty. This is a SCAM. Please be aware the District Court will not publicize a juror's failure to appear. Jurors are notified by phone or U.S. Mail for failure to appear issues. Ifyou receive a text message of this type, do not reply to the text message. As always, be careful of your identity and make sure you know who you are sharing information with. If anyone has questions regarding this type of text, please contact the Jury Clerk Shannon Carter at (575) 396-8571, or Major J.D. Wilmeth at (575) 396-8202.

 

From: J.D. "Will" Wilmeth Undersheriff, Lea County Sheriff's Office  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lovington, New Mexico (July 16, 2012) -Lea County Sheriff Mark Hargrove has announced the promotion of a number of employees within the ranks to new positions of responsibility and the lateral transfers of some of the employees to new duties intended to widen their experience and skills. Deputies Victor Hernandez, Travis Carlson, Vicente Garcia and Rex Fleetwood were selected for Corporal. Corporals Mike Tovar and Kelly Brown were both promoted to Sergeant. These selections were made after a rigorous process including a file review, practical exercises, a written test and a promotion board comprised of Command staff. Additionally, Criminal Investigations Sergeant John Gaskins was appointed to Lieutenant, Lieutenant Jon Martinez was appointed to Captain and Captain J.D. "Will" Wilmeth was appointed Undersheriff. Lateral transfers included the transfer of Sergeant Jason Daugherty to the Criminal Investigations Detachment, the transfer of Sergeant Mike Rodriguez to the Courts and Civil shift, and Sergeant Jaime Moon's transfer to a patrol shift. The Sheriff wished to commend everyone for their hard work and dedication to the people of Lea County.

Click here to download The Hobbs News Sun article from July 13,2012

 

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lovington, New Mexico (July 3, 2012) -Lea County Sheriff's Investigators are looking into the circumstances surrounding the discovery of what are believed to be partial human remains found near the caprock in western Lea County. Approximately 2:52 PM on July 2, 2012, Investigators responded to an area along the caprock north of Maljamar and met with oilfield workers who had located the remains while taking a break from their work. Upon searching the area, Investigators recovered the partial remains along with items of personal property located in close proximity to the site. The remains appeared to have been in the area for a considerable time. The remains are being taken to the Office ofthe Medical Investigator in Albuquerque to confirm whether they are human and to attempt identification. Investigators are presently researching reports of missing persons and records entries with other departments for information. Persons believing they have information regarding these remains are asked to contact Investigators with the Sheriff's Office, or call CRIMESTOPPERS at (575) 393-8005. No other information is available at this time and no photographs are being released as the incident is being investigated as a possible homicide until evidence suggests otherwise.

Captain JD " Will" Wilmeth

Contact Number:  Main Office(575)396-3611

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Lovington, New Mexico (June 27, 2012) -Lea County Sheriffs deputies have arrested Alfredo Villalobos (19), Joshua Brian Wright (20), and Daniella M. Calvillo-Tabor (19), from Hobbs, in connection with the death of Kenny J. Parks Jr. (19) also of Hobbs. Mr. Parks was stabbed during an incident which occurred at 1211 S. Landfill Road, during the early morning hours of June 26, 2012. Alfredo Villalobos has been arrested on an open count of Murder and is being held on $1,000,000 cash bond. Joshua Wright and Daniella Calvillo-Tabor were arrested for Tampering with Evidence; each is being held on $5,000 cash bonds. The investigation is continuing and anyone who has information on this crime is asked to contact Investigator Jim Broom or Sergeant John Gaskins at (575) 396-3611, or call CRIMESTOPPERS at (575) 393-1328. Sheriffs Investigators are following up on several leads and additional interviews are anticipated. For this reason, no further information will be released at this time.

For Immediate Release

Lovington, New Mexico(June 26, 2012)-Lea County Sheriff's Deputies responded to an address on Landfill Road, east of Hobbs, early this morning in responses to a 911 call regarding an injured male. Upon their arrival, they located a man who appeared to have been stabbed in the upper chest. The man was transported by Hobbs Fire EMS to Lea Regional Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries. As a result of preliminary investigation, Sheriff's Investigators are following up on several leads and additional interviews are anticipated. For this reason, no further information will be released at this time.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lovington, New Mexico (June 21,2012) -Lea County Sheriffs Deputies arrested three Hobbs residents after becoming engaged in a vehicle pursuit near the community of Knowles. Deputy Kevin Hamby was on patrol north of Hobbs when he stopped to check a suspicious vehicle parked at a barn off Bensing Road. He noticed the barn door appeared to have been forced open and began to search the area. While doing this, he saw an individual run from the barn and get into the vehicle, which fled the scene at a high rate of speed. Deputy Hamby initiated his emergency lights and siren and attempted to catch the fleeing vehicle which was traveling at speeds up to 105 miles an hour. Deputy Hamby was assisted in the pursuit by Investigator Jeff Gray and Deputy Chad Scroggins. The driver, identified as Tab Brady (22), eventually stopped the vehicle in an alley near La Mesa Street and was taken into custody by Deputy Hamby. Two other individuals, identified as John Watkins (23) and Haily Brady (27), fled the vehicle on foot and hid in the bed of a pick-up truck where they were found and taken into custody by Investigator  Gray and Deputy Scroggins. Tab Brady, Watkins and Haily Brady have been charged with Breaking and Entering, Burglary, Possession of Burglary Tools and Aggravated Fleeing. In addition, Watkins and Haily Brady were charged with Resisting, Evading or Obstructing an Officer.

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Sheriff Mark Hargrove and Deputy Phillips

June 14, 2012
To:       All Media Outlets 
 From:   Captain J.D. “Will” Wilmeth Lea County Sheriff Department
 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
  Lovington, New Mexico (June 14, 2012) – Lea County Sheriff’s Deputy Kyle Phillips celebrated the first milestone of his career with Lea County after graduating from the Southeastern New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy on June 13, 2012 as the academy’s Distinguished Graduate. Kyle was also the recipient of the academy’s coveted top shooter award and received the academic excellence award as well. Kyle has been with the department just over one year and recently moved back to Lea County after living in Alaska. He graduated from Hobbs High School in 1997, and is a veteran of the U.S. Army.
The entire Lea County Sheriff’s Department family congratulates Kyle on his accomplishments and wishes to express their appreciation to his family for their support during his training. His efforts reflect great credit on himself, his family, and the Lea County Sheriff’s Department.

May 21, 2012

To: All Media Outlets

From: Captain J.D. "Will" Wilmeth Lea County Sheriff Department

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lovington, New Mexico (May 21, 2012) -Lea County Sheriffs Department Sergeant Jason Daugherty and Deputy Kevin Hamby arrested Jesus Arenivas of Lovington and Paul Litty Jr, of Hobbs early this morning after a pursuit which at times exceeded 100 mph. While on patrol, Deputy Hamby observed a green Chevrolet pickup backed up to a pump jack. When Deputy Hamby approached the vehicle to see what the occupants were doing, the driver left the scene at a high rate of speed across the pasture towards Catchings Road and then onto Stiles Road. Deputy Hamby activated his emergency lights and siren and pursued the vehicle. The vehicle left the roadway while in the 8400 block of Stiles, continued through a fence and came to a stop. Both the driver and passenger fled on foot. Deputy Hamby was able to catch the driver (later identified as Litty) and place him under arrest while Sergeant Daugherty located and arrested the passenger (identified as Arenivas). Investigation established probable cause that Litty and Arenivas stole a quantity of copper wire from the area around the pump jack and damaged oilfield property. The total amount recovered is estimated in excess of$1500.00, with over $3000.00 worth of criminal damage. Arenivas has been charged with Larceny over $500.00, Criminal Damage to Property in Excess of $1 000.00, Aggravated Fleeing, Resisting, Evading and Obstructing an Officer, and Parties to a Crime. Litty has been charged with Larceny over $500.00, Criminal Damage to Property in Excess of $1000.00, Aggravated Fleeing, Resisting, Evading and Obstructing an Officer, and was found to be a Fugitive from Justice out of Yoakum County, Texas. He was also charged with Aggravated DWl and had a municipal court warrant out of Hobbs, New Mexico. Both men were booked into the Lea County Detention Facility. 

Direct Office Line: (575) 396-8203

Email at: jwilmeth@leacounty.net

 For Immediate Release

May 14th, 2012                                                                                     

Lovington- National Police week is May 13th, 2012, through May 19th, 2012.  In 1962 President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15th, as Peace Officers Memorial Day, in which that date falls as Police week.

Deputies of the Lea County Sheriff's Department and agencies around the world travel to different locations across the Nation to planned events honoring those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

In honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, Deputies will wear a mourning ribbon across their badge through May 19th, 2012.

And please if you see an Officer or a Deputy working or if you know one, please take a moment to thank them for their commitment and Service to our great community.

Thank You,

Mark C. Hargrove,
Sheriff 

 

                  CORRECTION TO MEDIA RELEASE ON APRIL 5, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lovington, New Mexico (April 4, 2012) -The Lea County Sheriffs Department reported the date Francisco Munoz of Lovington was arrested on charges of kidnapping as being October 11, 2011. This date was a typographical error. The accurate date of the arrest was on November 11, 2011. Physical evidence collected during an ongoing double homicide investigation provided leads which helped identify Munoz and a vehicle, described as a white compact car, which he and unidentified accomplices utilized in connection with the alleged kidnapping. At this time, Munoz's accomplices have not been identified. Investigators do not know how or if the parties knew of each other prior to the events under investigation.

Anyone having information regarding the kidnapping or homicides are asked to contact Sergeant John Gaskins, Lea County Sheriffs Department, at (575) 396-8281, or Lea County Crimestoppers at (575) 393-8005.

 

    

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 March 27,2012

Press Release

 NM18 Speed Zone Changes, South side of Hobbs The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) has changed the speed zones on(StateRoad) NM18 on the south side of Hobbs.  The speed zones were reviewed and it was determined the 65 miles per hour speed zone should be lowered to 60 mph from 200' (Feet)South of NM18 and Stanolind Road to 2000'(feet) South of the truck bypass.   The new speed zones changes will improve highway safety as well as provide safer access to/from existing businesses along this busy stretch of NM18.  Motorists are asked to please drive carefully and observe posted speed limit signs.  The NMDOT is committed to the safety of the traveling public.  For up-to-date road construction information throughout the state, visit nmroads.com or call 511. Anyone with questions or comments regarding this project may contact Timothy Parker, P.E., District Two Traffic Engineer at (575) 637-7229.###

This was supplied to us through the New Mexico Department of Transportation. If you have any questions feel free to contact Lea County Sheriff's Department Capt. James Wilmeth (575)396-8200 Administration Line

 

Lovington- On March 23rd, 2012
 Sheriff Mark Hargrove and Executive Secretary Elizabeth Neff were honored by being invited to Jefferson Elementary to participate in their Community Reader program.  After the reading Sheriff Hargrove fielded several inquisitive questions from Carolyn Crawford's third grade class.  Sheriff Hargrove- " I think this is a wonderful opportunity to visit the children within the County, The Lovington School District has started a great community program and hope other districts within the County will allow our personnel to come to their school and participate in similar programs."  During a briefing with other members of the department, this program was discussed and Sheriff Hargrove had several requests from his Deputies that they too would like to get more involved in similar community activities. Any request from the community should be made to Captain James Wilmeth or Elizabeth Neff at 575-396-8200.  Again Thank You to the Staff at Jefferson Elementary for allowing us to come visit and interact with your students.

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FOR IMMEADATE RELEASE

February 23, 2012

Sheriff Mark C. Hargrove  

Hobbs – On February 22nd 2012, Lea County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Exxon Station just across the Stateline in reference to a gunshot victim.

Upon arrival Deputy Kelly Brown, contacted (victim) Chris Mullings (31) who had a gunshot wound to the abdomen. It was reported the shooting actually occurred in Lea County, New Mexico. 

Witnesses stated that Mullings and Chris Webb(35 yoa suspect)  had gotten into an altercation on the Highway and that Chris Webb had pulled out a pistol and shot Mullings in the stomach . Location of the incident was just west of mile marker 106 on 62-180 North of Hobbs. 

At 1:35 p.m. , Hobbs Police had located the suspect vehicle parked behind his residence in Hobbs. Members of the Lea County Sheriff’s Department and Hobbs Police S.W.A.T. teams approached the residence and took Webb into custody without incident.  

Motive was reported to be an altercation over a female. 

Chris Webb was transported and booked into Lea County Detention Center and is being held on a $13,000 Bond. 

Chris Mulling, as of this time of release is listed in stable condition in a Lubbock Hospital. 

Lea County Investigators are continuing the investigation; therefore no further information will be released at this time.

 

 

 

December 27, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hobbs, New MexicoOn Monday, December 26, 2011, Lea County Sheriff’s deputies responded to an address on Cherokee Street regarding a man who had been stabbed during a dispute over some property. As a result of their investigation, Mr Danny Claude Walker was arrested and charged with Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon.  The injured party, identified as R.L. Callahan, was transported to Lubbock for care after being stabbed in the abdomen. Mr Walker was booked into the Lea County Detention Center and is being held on a $10,000 bond.
Requests for booking photographs should be forwarded to the Lea County Detention Facility.  

 

 

December 19, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lovington, New Mexico- Captian J.D."Will" Wilmeth has assumed public information officer duties for the Lea County Sheriff's Department. For information regarding Lea County Sheriff's Department activities that are of public interest, please contact Captain Wilmeth.

 

 

 

December 14, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lovington, New Mexico - Undersheriff Mark Hargrove was chosen by Lea County Board of Commissioner's to serve as the Southeastern New Mexico county's Sheriff until the next election during the commission's meeting Tuesday, December 13. Sheriff Hargrove served as the Undersheriff for two Lea County Sheriff's prior to this appointment. He has over 22 years of experience in law enforcement and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, in Quantico, Virginia. Sheriff Hargrove agreed to take the position with a heavy heart, but is also with a sense of duty to both the residents of the county and to the personnel of the department. His intentions are to maintain the professionalism of the department and the quality of service its employees provide to the residents of Lea County. 

 

 

 

December 5, 2011

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lea County Sheriff Rod Coffman died after suffering an injury he sustained sometime around 11:00 p.m. Sunday night. The incident is under investigation by the New Mexico State Police at the request of Lea County Sheriff's Department.

The investigation into this incident has only begun and all requests for information are being channeled through the New Mexico State Police for response, who are in charge of the investigation.

Lea County Undersheriff Mark Hargrove is presently managing the department and has stated normal department operations will continue.

The department has lost a respected member of the department and a dedicated member of the profession.  The members of our department wish to express our condolences to the Coffman family and his many friends.  Our prayers are with them all.

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lovington, New Mexico (December 5, 2011)

The Lea County Sheriff’s Department would like to express its deep appreciation to everyone for their condolences and support. At the present time, no Memorial Fund has been established on behalf of the Coffman family but it is anticipated in the near future. Once created, the information for the Memorial Fund will be released to the public. The department is unable to accept any donations.