ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Video from three deputies from the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office shows a traffic stop that led to the arrest of Solomon Peña earlier this month. A one-time Republican candidate for state House of Representatives, he is accused of orchestrating the shooting at the homes of four Democrats.
Around 1.30am on January 3, BCSO deputy Jonathan Skroch stopped a driver whose registration had expired. “Why don’t you have a new sticker on your registration form?” the adjutant asked. “Uh, well, it’s not my car. I borrowed it,” Jose Trujillo responded.
Trujillo later told deputies he had borrowed the car from “a friend of his,” Solomon Peña. When Trujillo couldn’t find his driver’s license or car registration, the deputy noted his name and birthday and walked back to his patrol car. Running Trujillo’s name, the deputy discovered he had a warrant for his arrest.
“Jose, brother, I want you to come out and talk to me,” Deputy Scrooge said. He handcuffed Trujillo and explained he had an outstanding arrest warrant because he did not show up for a hearing in late 2022. Trujillo is accused in a separate case of stalking his ex-girlfriend.
Accompanying Trujillo to his patrol car, Deputy Scrooge noted, “Did you see how your registration sticker shows one and then the other part is covered so I know it’s in 2020 Years ago?” Trujillo said he got it.
With Trujillo in custody, the BCSO now needs to tow the car he borrowed from Peña. But before they could, deputies repeatedly asked Trujillo if he wanted anything out of it. He said no. So, the three assistants took stock.
And, the reaction of Skroch’s deputies made it clear that they were surprised by what they found. “Oh shit,” he said, pulling a bag of fentanyl pills out of the car. In total, he and other deputies found 893 fentanyl pills, hundreds of small bags, $3,036 in cash, ammunition and two firearms — an AR-15 and a loaded rifle — in various parts of the vehicle. Glock pistol.
Deputy Skroch walks back to his patrol car to talk to Trujillo about their discovery, and it’s clear he knows what the deputies found.
Trujillo: I do not condone any searches. I don’t…
Deputy: Your car was cleared, so…
Trujillo: No, I’m not condoning that. I said no you can’t. I say you can drag it. I didn’t say you can take an inventory of it.
Deputy: I really have to.
Deputy Scroci explained that he came over and told Trujillo he was being arrested on more charges, “You’re dealing drugs on these streets. So you’re arrested for trafficking a controlled substance. Okay?”
Deputy drove Trujillo to the substation and locked him in a cell for nearly two hours while he handled paperwork. He then transferred Trujillo to MDC. During that drive, this conversation took place:
Trujillo: Do you like the city?
Deputy: Albuquerque? Man, I really love New Mexico. I just think all the liberal politics are starting to impede growth here.
Trujillo: How do you feel about these elections? Do you think they were manipulated?
Trujillo: All of them, huh?
Trujillo: Do you really think they overthrew Trump?
Deputy: I’m not sure, man.
When they got to the MDC, Trujillo asked him if he had been charged over the gun they found in his suitcase. Deputy Skroch replied, “What charges would you get for a gun? I don’t see anything wrong with any of the guns.”
But testing one of the confiscated firearms would lead to significant progress in the Albuquerque police investigation into the shootings at the homes of four politicians. Shell casings found outside the house of State Senator Linda Lopez matched those fired from a Glock pistol.
As it turned out, Solomon Peña had failed to properly register his car, which led to the police finding him.
The APD believes Trujillo was one of four gunmen involved in the Peña plot. He has faced federal charges for dealing drugs and making machine guns with extended drums. Sources told police that Peña and Trujillo were in the car 40 minutes before that traffic stop when they went together to the home of State Senator Lopez to shoot him.