Federal authorities broke up an alleged robbery plot by Syndicato Nuevo Mexico gang members targeting an associate who reportedly sold drugs out of his Southeast Albuquerque apartment.
Dominic Gutierrez, 42, an purported member of SNM, one of the state’s most violent and powerful gangs, was arrested on a probation violation during a Wednesday morning raid at his home in Northeast Albuquerque. The FBI said Gutierrez, known as “Gage,” will be charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm after agents found a gun at his house.
The target of the would-be robbery was also arrested.
David Aranda, 41, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm after agents allegedly found six guns, one of them without a serial number, when they raided his apartment in Southeast Albuquerque.
Agents said they also found an unspecified amount of heroin and hundreds of rounds of ammunition at Aranda’s apartment.
Aranda was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center. It is unclear where Gutierrez is being held.
When reached for comment Aranda’s family said they were unaware of his arrest. Gutierrez’s family could not be reached.
In the past week an informant tipped off FBI agents that two SNM members recently released from prison, one identified as Gutierrez, were plotting to rob SNM “associate” Aranda, who sold drugs out of his apartment, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in U.S. District Court.
The second SNM member and would-be robber is not identified.
Agents said Gutierrez told the informant he had been committing robberies lately and “doing good,” shooting at one dealer who resisted him.
The informant told agents Gutierrez and the other gang member believed they would get guns, money and “several pounds of heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl pills” from Aranda’s apartment, according to the affidavit. The informant said the pair pointed out that Aranda was not “cliqued up,” or part of SNM, and had “weak security” — dealing drugs through a metal door that was “seldom locked.”
Agents said the informant told them Gutierrez and the other SNM member drove a woman to Aranda’s apartment with the pretense of buying drugs from him while they secretly took notes of his apartment’s security and surroundings. Then the FBI watched Gutierrez’s home and saw several people walking up to the door and engage in “hand-to-hand” exchanges with the person inside during a short period of time.
The FBI raided Aranda’s apartment at 429 Chama SE around 6 a.m on Wednesday and found eight firearms including two short-barrel shotguns, ammunition and an unspecified amount of heroin, according to a search warrant return filed in U.S. District Court. Around half an hour later they raided Gutierrez’s home at 8922 Aztec NE and seized a loaded 9mm handgun.