Gallegos brothers found, arrested for murder

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Drugs and money were motives for the suspects involved in the kidnapping and murder of a 28-year-old Los Lunas man, according to New Mexico State Police Lt. Tim Johnson.

Johnson said the suspects, Andrew Gallegos, 36, and his brother, Joe Lawrence Gallegos, 43, were arrested Tuesday evening as part of an investigation with the U.S. Marshals Service in Albuquerque.

Both suspects are charged with an open count of murder, kidnapping and arson following an incident where the body of Adrian Burns was found by a volunteer firefighter near a burning vehicle in Bernardo near U.S. 60 and N.M. 304 on Nov. 12.

Two women who were with the men at the motel at the time they were arrested. Charlene Baldazar, 31, was arrested and charged with aiding and abetting a felon. The other woman, whose name was not released, was a family member and not charged with any crime.

An anonymous source tipped off officials about the men’s whereabouts, and by about 5:30 p.m., officials arrested the pair at the Imperial Inn Motel, near Central Avenue and Broadway Boulevard.

“Now that we have them in custody, we can slow down the investigation and tie up the loose ends in the case,” Johnson said.

Johnson would not say which part of the investigation officials would focus on next. There is an order by a judge to seal the case, which means details of the case aren’t available through court records.

He would not specifically comment on why the brothers are implicated in the crime, or what relationship Burns shared with the men.

Johnson said the ability to use another agency was “a very critical asset” in the apprehension of the suspects.

The U.S. Marshals Service used a special task force to help track down the Gallegos brothers, a team that a New Mexico State police officer is a part of.

“We try and pass a piece of a case to another agency to give us a little more time,” Johnson said.

Alex Ramos, chief deputy of the U.S. Marshals in Albuquerque, said officials obtained a search warrant for the men in the mid-afternoon hours. He said the men voluntarily surrendered.

Ramos said no firearms, money or drugs were found in the motel room.

“Once we identified the room they were in, we let them know we were there, and they came out voluntarily,” Ramos said.

The men were taken from the Bernalillo County Detention Center to the Socorro County Detention Center late Wednesday, where they being held on $500,000 cash-only bonds.

 


-- Email the author at bruffner@news-bulletin.com.