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Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Reporter Charged With DWI
By John Arnold
Journal Staff Writer
SANTA FE A police reporter for the Albuquerque Journal was arraigned Monday in Santa Fe Magistrate Court on drunken driving and cocaine possession charges.
Chris Vogel, 29, of Albuquerque was arrested early Sunday in Downtown Santa Fe after a traffic stop.
Vogel covers crime news, as well as the Albuquerque Police and Bernalillo County Sheriff's departments, for the Journal. He has been employed by the newspaper for two years.
Journal editor Kent Walz said Vogel had been placed on leave pending developments in his case.
"These are serious allegations and, if true, Chris obviously will no longer be employed by the Journal," Walz said.
Santa Fe police officer Anthony Rivera, in a statement of probable cause, wrote that he stopped Vogel at 1:30 a.m. at Webber Street and Paseo de Peralta after Vogel made an illegal left turn.
Vogel smelled of alcohol and his speech was slurred, according to Rivera. "I also observed a white powdery substance in the upper nostril nose area of Mr. Vogel," Rivera wrote.
While police impounded his Nissan Altima, Vogel told police there was cocaine in the middle console, according to Rivera's statement.
Police found a contact lens case that contained a powdery substance, which tested positive for cocaine, Rivera wrote.
The report states that Vogel told police he bought the cocaine from a confidential informant and had "snorted a couple of lines" at the Paramount night club.
A breath test put Vogel's alcohol level at .13 percent. The presumed level of intoxication for drivers in New Mexico is .08 percent.
Vogel has been charged with possession of a controlled substance, a fourth degree felony. He is also charged with DWI and careless driving, both misdemeanors.
Magistrate Court Judge Richard Padilla entered a not guilty plea on Vogel's behalf and set bond at $100,000 surety or property or $10,000 cash.