NEW MEXICO COUNTY SHERIFF BUSTED SELLING INK ON eBAY

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NEW MEXICO COUNTY SHERIFF BUSTED SELLING INK ON eBAY

 user 2011-01-26 at 8:07:20 am Views: 71
  • #23895

    http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-opinion/ci_17139017

    NEW MEXICO COUNTY SHERIFF BUSTED SELLING INK CARTRIDGES ON eBAY
    ALBUQUERQUE – Former Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano, accused of selling sheriff’s department equipment online, was arrested Wednesday on 251 counts of embezzlement and one count of fraud.”This is a dark day for those who have put their trust in Greg Solano,” District Attorney Matthew Chandler said as he announced the arrest in front of the Santa Fe County courthouse.State police investigated Solano for several months on allegations he sold new and used sheriff’s equipment on the online sales portal eBay. He resigned Nov. 24 after nearly eight years as sheriff, and released a letter in which he said he’d been having financial problems and had been selling old equipment.”This was wrong, illegal, unethical and dishonest,” he wrote.

    State police said their investigation found evidence Solano sold new equipment as well.
    “We do not take enjoyment in arresting a two-term sheriff, but if law enforcement officials are not held accountable just as any other citizen in New Mexico, then the laws in our state mean nothing,” Chandler said.Wednesday’s arrest warrant affidavit alleged Solano had been stealing and selling county government equipment, and using the profits for himself. The equipment included more than 100 bulletproof vests, numerous handcuffs and gun holsters and supplies ranging from digital audio recorders to ink cartridges, Chandler said.

    An audit is still under way, but Chandler said the value of the property to date exceeds
    $50,000.Solano’s attorney, Brooke Gamble, said she hopes her client and the district attorney could reach “some kind of agreement,” but said nothing has been discussed. She said she told Chandler her client would waive a grand jury and preliminary hearing.”I don’t know what the benefit would be for the people of New Mexico to drag it on,” she said.Gamble also said she’s puzzled by an arrest warrant in an embezzlement case since summons are usually issued in such property crimes cases. “He admitted to what he did,” she said. “He cooperated from day one.”

    A judge set bond at $25,000 cash.
    Chandler said Solano had been “living a life of undercover crime” since January 2007, when investigators allege online sales of county equipment began.The sales unraveled after a reserve deputy in Bowie County, Texas, contacted a bulletproof vest manufacturer about resizing a vest he had bought on eBay. The manufacturer, concerned over the sale, discovered the vest originally was sold to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department and was purchased for Solano.

    Solano faces 106 fourth-degree felony counts of embezzlement, 11 misdemeanor counts of embezzlement, 134 petty misdemeanor counts of embezzlement and one count of fraud over $20,000, a second-degree felony and the highest degree of fraud in the state, Chandler said.If convicted of all counts, he could get a maximum sentence of about 250 years, said Chandler, the district attorney in Curry and Roosevelt counties. Santa Fe County’s district attorney turned the case over to him last year to avoid any appearance of impropriety.Chandler said the state also would seek full restitution.

    http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-opinion/ci_17139017