Failed GOP candidate who claimed election was ‘rigged’ is arrested for hiring four hitmen

Failed GOP candidate who claimed election was ‘rigged’ is arrested for hiring four hitmen to fire at homes of Democratic officials in the state last year

  • Solomon Pena, who ran for a New Mexico House seat last November, was arrested on Monday after a standoff with a SWAT team in Albuquerque 
  • He is accused of orchestrating shootings against four Democratic officials

A failed Republican candidate for New Mexico‘s state legislature was arrested for allegedly hiring four hitman to carry out shootings against Democrat officials. 

Solomon Pena, 39, who ran for a state House seat last November and claimed the elections were ‘rigged’, was arrested on Monday after a standoff with a SWAT team in Albuquerque. 

He was accused of hiring four killers to open fire at the homes of Adriann Barboa and Debbie O’Malley, two Bernalillo County Commissioners, and state Senators Linda Lopez and Moe Maestas. 

The shootings occurred between December 4 2022, and January 5, 2023, officials said.   

Solomon Pena, who ran for a New Mexico House seat last November, was arrested on Monday after a standoff with a SWAT team in Albuquerque. He is accused of orchestrating shootings against four Democratic officials in the state

Solomon Pena, who ran for a New Mexico House seat last November, was arrested on Monday after a standoff with a SWAT team in Albuquerque. He is accused of orchestrating shootings against four Democratic officials in the state

New Mexico Sen. Linda Lopez is pictured standing by the bullet holes left in her garage door following the shooting on January 5

New Mexico Sen. Linda Lopez is pictured standing by the bullet holes left in her garage door following the shooting on January 5

Following Pena’s arrest on Monday, Albuquerque Police Deputy Commander Kyle Hartsock said at least four hitmen were believed to have taken part in the shootings, with the politician serving as the ‘mastermind.’ 

The police officials noted that investigators believe Pena was the shooter in at least one of the attacks on the Democrat officials. 

No one was injured in the shootings but in one case three bullets passed through the bedroom of a state senator´s 10-year-old daughter. 

Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said the shootings appeared to be a politically motivated conspiracy.

Pena ran unsuccessfully in November against incumbent state Rep. Miguel P. Garcia, the longtime Democrat representing House District 14 in the South Valley. Garcia won by 48 percentage points, or roughly 3,600 votes.

After the election, police said, Pena showed up uninvited at the elected officials’ homes with what he claimed were documents proving he had won his race. There was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in New Mexico in 2020 or 2022.

This is a developing story. 

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