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Man threatened ‘another El Paso’ in Santa Fe

SANTA FE — A Santa Fe man recently threatened to start another “El Paso” in Santa Fe, referencing the recent Texas shooting that claimed 22 lives.

Moises Ortiz Jr. III also threatened to “start a war” in Santa Fe, and said he was willing to “get rid” of drug dealers and homeless people in the city, according to court documents.


Joseph Moises Ortiz Jr. III

Ortiz has been charged with one count of assault with intent to commit a felony on a peace officer and one count of using a telephone to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend for making threats toward the Santa Fe Police Department on Aug. 6 over the handling of his sister’s apparent overdose death.

Ortiz’s 16-year-old nephew, Isaiah Vigil, also is charged in the case, for making a bomb scare and assault with intent to commit a violent felony on a peace officer, after he allegedly threatened to attack SFPD headquarters with explosives and a gun.

The two were arrested by State Police on Aug. 8 off N.M. 14 south of Santa Fe, State Police have said.

According to an affidavit for an arrest warrant filed in Santa Fe Magistrate Court, Ortiz told SFPD Lt. Aaron Ortiz via phone on Aug. 6 that he was upset over how the department handled his sister’s death investigation and said he wanted to start a war in Santa Fe. Moises Ortiz then began using racist language towards Mexican immigrants and referenced the Aug. 3 mas shooting at an El Paso Walmart where the gunman is said to have targeted Mexican nationals.

“Moises stated that he would start a war with whoever wanted war,” the affidavit says. “Moises at one point makes a claim that he will start another ‘El Paso,’ referring to the mass shooting that occurred this past weekend. Moises claims that the illegal wetbacks in the City of Santa Fe are catered too (sic) and that the locals are not treated fairly.”

Later in the roughly 30-minute conversation, “Moises is heard breaking down over the phone and begins to offer his services to get rid of the drug dealers and the homeless population in the City of Santa Fe,” the affidavit says.

Vigil, Moises Ortiz’s nephew, first spoke to police to express his frustration over how his mother’s apparent July overdose death was handled and said he was never properly notified. He demanded that a detective call him back “or he would make an appearance at the Police Station with a block of C4 (explosives) and a Glock 17 (Firearm),” the affidavit says.

The Journal previously had requested police reports on the threat incident on Aug. 7, but all but about three sentences of the document provided by SFPD had been redacted.

When asked on Monday about the redactions, SFPD spokesman and records custodian Greg Gurule said he was following the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act.

“I redact per IPRA,” Gurule said in an email. “My reasons for redaction were listed on the material I returned to you. We’re not hiding anything from you, I am bound by IPRA not to release certain information through IPRA, such as details in cases still under investigation by our officers. The rules that govern documents that are filed in court may not apply the same way my release of public records conditions do.” State Police took over the investigation Aug. 6, the day before the Journal requested reports from the SFPD.

Prosecutors are asking a judge to keep Ortiz in jail pending trial. A detention hearing is set for Friday in District Court.


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