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15-year-old arrested in slaying of two teens last year

Collin Romero and Ahmed Lateef (Source: APD)

Detectives have arrested a 15-year-old charged with murder and other charges in the deaths of two teenagers late last year, according to a spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department.

Gilbert Gallegos said Julio Fabian “FaFa” Almentero surrendered peacefully when detectives confronted him. A warrant was issued for him Friday.

“APD booked Almentero, and informed the District Attorney’s Office of the arrest,” Gallegos said in an email.

Almentero was booked into the Juvenile Detention Center, according to the DA’s Office.

He will be charged as an adult.

Almentero is the first suspect to be charged with murder in the deaths of 14-year-old Ahmed Lateef and 15-year-old Collin Romero. Romero and Lateef were last seen Dec. 16, and their bodies were found buried in a shallow grave northwest of Rio Rancho a couple of weeks later.

Prosecutors suspect that Almentero’s friends, Stephen Goldman, 20, and Jimmie Atkins, 23, were also involved in the killing and say the three can be seen in a Snapchat video beating and taunting Romero and Lateef. Goldman and Atkins have not been charged with murder, but they are locked up in unrelated shootings.

Almentero’s uncle, Anthony Aragon, 37, is charged with two counts of tampering with evidence for allegedly helping bury the teenagers. He is in jail in Nevada on armed robbery charges.

Goldman’s father, Stephen Goldman Sr., has also been charged with two counts of tampering with evidence and is not in custody.

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