Police Blotter: Reward for Counselor homicide info raised to $10,000


Between the evening hours of Valentine’s Day 2014 and noon the following day, a 75-year-old Counselor, New Mexico, man was beaten to death at his residence, according to the FBI.

The FBI marked the fifth anniversary of Wilson Joe Chiquito’s homicide by announcing that its reward in the case has been increased from $1,000 to $10,000. “Somebody knows who killed this innocent, defenseless man,” James Langenberg, special agent in charge of the Albuquerque FBI Division, said.

“It’s time for justice to be served and the person or persons who did this crime to be held responsible. His family and loved ones deserve it.” The reward is for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the responsible individual or individuals. The cause of death was blunt force trauma to his head. The FBI, Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and New Mexico State Police are investigating.

Anyone with information about this death is asked to call the Albuquerque FBI Field Office at 505-889-1300 (24 hours). Tips also can be submitted online at tips.fbi.gov.

Fatal rollover on I-40 in McKinley County

GALLUP – On Feb. 17, at 8:27 a.m., the New Mexico State Police investigated a fatal rollover crash on Interstate 40 westbound near milepost 28, east of Gallup. The initial investigation indicated a 2006 Ford Van, driven by Jorge Cruz Villalobos, 34, of Oklahoma, was traveling west on Interstate 40.

The Ford lost control on a snow-packed, icy roadway and rolled into the median. A passenger, Arturo Esparaza, 20, of California, was ejected and transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Two other passengers in the Ford sustained unknown injuries and were also transported to a local hospital. The driver of the Ford, Villalobos, was cited for careless driving. The weather was a contributing factor in the crash, alcohol was not involved, and seat belts were not properly used.

No additional information is available.

State police checkpoints, saturation patrols

ALBUQUERQUE – The New Mexico State Police will conduct sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and registration, insurance and driver’s license checkpoints in all New Mexico counties during the month of March. “We are bringing awareness to these events in an effort to reduce alcohol related fatalities through continued media attention and intensive advertising,” the police said in a news release. “These checkpoints are helping to change society’s attitude about drinking and driving. “Hundreds of lives could be saved each year if every driver had the courage to make the right decision not to drink and drive,” the release says.


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