Suspect in double slaying, carjacking caught near Las Cruces - Albuquerque Journal

Suspect in double slaying, carjacking caught near Las Cruces

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

Dakota Briscoe (Doña Ana County Detention Center)

Dakota “Outlaw” Briscoe pulled up to a U.S. Border Patrol inspection checkpoint Wednesday north of Las Cruces on the run from the law.

While Albuquerque police were gathering evidence to file additional charges against the double homicide suspect, the 34-year-old was posing as his younger, slightly shorter brother, driving his brother’s 2004 van and using his brother’s driver’s license, state court records allege.

With a $10,000 FBI reward for his arrest and conviction, Briscoe was linked to a series of crimes on Albuquerque’s West Side Sept. 7 in which he was accused of killing Eric Carbajal, 36, and Nathan Garcia, 39, torching their bodies inside a vehicle and carjacking a woman at gunpoint to make his escape.

His alleged scheme to assume the identity of his brother, Austin Epps, 28, might have worked, except for the fact that Epps himself had a warrant for his arrest. And not only was the younger brother’s driver’s license suspended, the van’s registration was expired, according to court records.

That was enough for a Border Patrol agent to hold Briscoe and call the New Mexico State Police to take him for booking on Epps’ warrant for failure to appear in a Valencia County state court in 2019 on a drug charge.

The ruse continued into the next day as a Las Cruces magistrate set a $1,500 bond on the failure to appear and motor vehicle citations, permitting 10 percent cash down for his release from jail.

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Dakota Briscoe (Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center)

But more digging by State Police and other law enforcement officials had revealed Briscoe’s true identity by Friday and his potential release was moot.

By the time authorities brought him back to Albuquerque late Friday and booked him into the Metropolitan Detention Center he was facing charges of murder.

In all, Briscoe is charged with two open counts of murder, two counts of attempted armed robbery, six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, burglary of a vehicle, aggravated burglary, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, shooting at or from a motor vehicle and aggravated arson.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court:

Officers responded around 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 7 to multiple calls of an attempted carjacking, a home invasion and a vehicle fire in a neighborhood near Central and Atrisco.

After further investigation, police linked Briscoe – identified by neighbors, relatives and other witnesses – to a flurry of crimes in the area.

Police say he set an SUV on fire with two bodies inside, unsuccessfully tried to carjack two women at gunpoint and broke into a third woman’s house, firing a gun at her, and stealing her vehicle.

The bodies, burnt beyond recognition, were identified as Garcia and Carbajal and the vehicle as belonging to Garcia. During autopsy, the medical examiner found both men had been shot multiple times and were dead before they had been set on fire. Garcia had been shot twice in the head while Carbajal had been shot once in the head and twice in the chest.

A large bag of meth was found in Garcia’s pocket and five shell casings were found in the burnt-out SUV.

Carbajal and Garcia’s girlfriends told police Briscoe had been staying at Garcia’s home for the past few weeks and the three had been hanging out up until the morning the bodies were found. The women said Garcia and Carbajal had been selling meth for Briscoe and Briscoe accused Garcia of stealing from him.

Another woman who lives at Garcia’s home told police Briscoe and Carbajal smoked meth at the house before all three men went and sat in Garcia’s SUV in the driveway. The woman said the SUV left the driveway around 8:30 a.m.

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