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Panel OKs U.S. attorney pick

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to approve Damon Martinez to become New Mexico’s next U.S. attorney.

The committee voted Thursday to send the nomination to the full U.S. Senate for confirmation.

The Albuquerque native has served as an assistant U.S. attorney since 2001 and now supervises the organized crime and gang section in Albuquerque. He has also worked on national security, anti-terrorism, immigration and narcotics cases.

Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Martinez served as an assistant state attorney general.

Martinez would replace Kenneth Gonzales, who left the position last year to assume a federal judgeship.