Man accused of shooting at police drone, officers - Albuquerque Journal

Man accused of shooting at police drone, officers

Johnathan Martinez (MDC)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

Detectives arrested an Albuquerque man who allegedly first shot at a police drone and then shot at officers who had followed him for several hours during an auto theft investigation on Saturday.

Johnathan Martinez, 39, is facing auto theft, embezzlement of a vehicle and aggravated assault of a peace officer charges in the incident.

An alleged accomplice, 28-year-old Myranda Salayandia, is facing auto theft and aggravated fleeing charges.

It is unclear if either has an attorney.

Gilbert Gallegos, an Albuquerque police spokesman, said Martinez is also suspected of shooting a man in the chest on Nov. 23 in Northeast Albuquerque. He has not been charged in that crime.

Myranda Salayandia (MDC)

Martinez's criminal history includes arrests for auto theft, drug trafficking, aggravated fleeing an officer and child abuse charges, according to court records.

In 2019 he was sentenced to more than two years in prison after pleading guilty to auto theft and a gun charge in a 2017 case. Then, after his release in 2020, Martinez was charged federally with being a felon in possession of a gun after probation officers found a gun in his home.

While awaiting trial in that case, according to court records, Martinez tested positive for methamphetamine on July 14, which he said he used while still in federal custody.

On Saturday afternoon plainclothes auto theft detectives spotted Martinez driving a stolen car near Montgomery and Pennsylvania NE, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court. Detectives followed Martinez, who was with Salayandia and two others, for several hours as they drove around the city.

Police said, at one point, Martinez led them to a truck reported stolen on Thanksgiving by someone who said they lent it to Martinez and he never gave it back. Officers were using a drone to watch Martinez near Girard and Coal SE when he fired at it and left in the stolen car with Salayandia driving.

Officers tried to pull the car over and Salayandia sped away as Martinez fired in the direction of officers, according to the complaint. The car was abandoned near Gibson and Louisiana where police detained Salayandia.

Police said Salayandia told them she met Martinez a few days earlier and ran because she didn't want to be blamed “for shooting at officers.”

Gallegos, the police spokesman, said Martinez initially eluded authorities and was arrested Tuesday at a home near Candelaria and Washington NE.

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