Bartels arraigned

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Bond was set at $5,000 for a Catron County man accused of making bombs and assaulting police officers during his arraignment in District Court on Monday.

Bond was set at $5,000 for a Catron County man accused of making bombs and assaulting police officers during his arraignment in District Court on Monday.

Tod Bartels was arraigned in 7th Judicial District Court on four fourth-degree felony charges of possession of an explosive or incendiary device, as well as aggravated assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon, a third-degree felony; aggravated battery upon a peace officer, a fourth-degree felony; aggravated fleeing of a law enforcement officer, a fourth-degree felony; criminal damage to property, a petty misdemeanor; and four misdemeanor charges: resisting, evading or obstructing an officer; driving while license is suspended or revoked, not DWI-related; no proof of insurance; failure to display a registration plate and failure to register a vehicle.

The statement of probable cause filed in the case reports charges stem from an Oct. 29, 2012, incident in Reserve where Bartels was contacted by New Mexico State Police because officers saw him driving and knew from previous contact he didn’t have a valid license or registration on the vehicle. The incident escalated when Bartels allegedly got in his Jeep and started ramming patrol vehicles with it, then slammed a state police patrolman’s hand in his Jeep door when the patrolman went to arrest Bartels.

Over the following days, according to the statement of probable cause, the FBI interviewed Bartels and state police got search warrants for Bartels’ residence, campsite and vehicles. Searches allegedly turned up explosive devices, as well as notes and materials for building explosive devices.

Judge Edmund Kase III noted the jury trial is scheduled for July 8 in Reserve, and the bond was set Dec. 7 in Reserve Magistrate Court for $15,000. The defendant is pleading not guilty to all the charges.

Lee Deschamps, Bartels’ attorney, first asked the court to consider releasing Bartels on his own recognizance.

“The state does not have any evidence these items would explode,” Deschamps said.

Deschamps said the arrest and charges are a “massive overreaction” to Bartels’ political beliefs; he’s a nonconformist and a constitutionalist. Deschamps asked for a $5,000 bond, citing the state’s lack of evidence and Bartels’ record of no prior felonies.

Deschamps said Bartels works; he is part of a partnership that does odd jobs for hire. He noted Bartels just missed out on a $4,000 contract because he was incarcerated.

Kase said there will be conditions on Bartels’ release: Bartels is not to leave Catron County without the court’s permission, and he is not to acquire any gun powder or other explosive materials.

When questioned by the judge, Bartels said he lives in Rancho Grande Estates in Reserve with his girlfriend, who has cancer and receives treatment at a hospital in Albuquerque. His work comprises general contracting and alternative energy like wood stoves; he also does electrical contracting, but not lately since his license is not current. He has not had a driver’s license since it was suspended in Silver City in 2007.

In addition to not having gun powder and not leaving Catron County, the judge directed Bartels not to drive a vehicle or ride in a vehicle that is being driven by someone without a license.