A second woman was arrested in connection with harboring two suspects who police say were involved in the kidnapping and murder of a 28-year-old Los Lunas man last month.
Loretta Apodaca, 40, was arrested at a Belen residence on Nov. 29 on two counts of aiding and abetting a felon after police say she paid for a motel room for brothers Andrew Gallegos and Joe Lawrence Gallegos.
The men are charged with an open count of murder, kidnapping and arson following an incident where the body of Adrian Burns was found by a volunteer firefighter near a burning vehicle in Bernardo near U.S. 60 and N.M. 304 on Nov. 12.
An anonymous source tipped off officials about the men’s whereabouts, and by that evening, officials arrested the pair at the Imperial Inn Motel, near Central Avenue and Broadway Boulevard.
According to New Mexico State Police Lt. Tim Johnson, Apodaca was arrested at a family member’s home at the 200 block of Vivian Road after police learned she paid for the suspects to stay at the motel. He said she was hiding in a closet when police arrived.
Johnson said the woman paid $175 cash to rent the motel room for seven days.
“Through investigation, we learned that she rented the room on Nov. 17,” Johnson said.
The lieutenant would not say if there could be more arrests in connection with the case.
Another woman, Charlene Baldazar, 31, was arrested and charged aiding and abetting a felon and was with the men when they were arrested on Nov. 20.
4:58am 11/22/12 — Brothers Arrested in Burned Body Case
By Patrick Lohmann/Journal Staff Report
Law enforcement arrested two brothers at an Albuquerque motel Tuesday and charged them with the murder of a 28-year-old man whose body was found about a week ago at the scene of a burned vehicle near Bernardo.
Joe Lawrence Gallegos, 43, and Andrew “Smiley” Gallegos, 36, of Los Lunas are facing murder, arson and evidence tampering charges after the U.S. Marshals Service and other law enforcement agencies picked up the pair at the Imperial Inn Motel in the 700 block of Central NE on Tuesday afternoon, according to a U.S. Marshals news release.
The body of Adrian Burns, also of Los Lunas, was found after Bernardo volunteer firefighters arrived to extinguish a vehicle fire near U.S. 60 and N.M. 304 on the night of Nov. 12. They discovered Burns’ body and referred the case to the State Police.
The U.S. Marshals and State Police got leads Tuesday that placed the brothers near Central and Broadway in Albuquerque. Law enforcement saturated the area until finding the Gallegos’ car in the motel’s parking lot, according to the release.
Officers surrounded brothers’ motel room, and they gave themselves up at about 5:30 p.m. without a struggle. State Police detectives, through a search warrant, spent the rest of the night going through the room to gather evidence, the release said.
Investigators said the Gallegos brothers are members of the East Side Locos gang.
The pair is being held at the Bernalillo County Detention Center on an unknown bond. They’re also facing kidnapping and conspiracy charges.
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal