News Briefs: Accused teen drug ring leader pleads not guilty

James Gonzales
James Gonzales

Accused teen drug ring leader pleads not guilty

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The Albuquerque teen police believe is the ring leader in a huge car theft warm-up ring, has pleaded not guilty. Police arrested James Gonzales after he was spotted driving a stolen car at a trailer park near 98th and Tower. He also had a stolen San Juan County DA’s badge on him. They’re investigating how he got it.

NM woman cashes in $2M lottery ticket

LAS CRUCES (KRQE) – A New Mexico woman had a $2 million winning lotto ticket in her car for more than two months before discovering it was a winner. Romana Saavedra of claimed her winnings at the state lotto office Friday. She said she plays the same birthdays and anniversaries on every ticket and, said she’ll try her luck again Saturday using those same numbers. Saturday’s Powerball jackpot now stands at $380 million.

Dion’s opening new location near Denver

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Dion’s Pizza just announced its opening a location just outside Denver. The Albuquerque based pizza chain announced it’s opening a location in Aurora, Colorado this summer.

Marijuana lab creates jobs in Durango

DURANGO, Colo. (KRQE) – Marijuana is legal in Colorado and now some Fort Lewis graduates are benefiting from it big time. They own Aurum Labs, the only state-certified marijuana lab in southwestern Colorado. The lab tests for contaminants such as mold, bacteria and salmonella in all marijuana buds and edibles, something that will soon be required under state law. The lab owners say they’re creating high paying jobs in Durango something that is needed there.

NM man found guilty in 1993 murder

PORTALES, N.M. (KRQE) – A jury has found a Portales man guilty of murder in a cold case. Arnoldo Navarette killed Reynaldo Ornelas Senior in 1993. They caught him in Odessa, Texas in 2009. He was convicted in 2010 but in 2013 the state Supreme Court overturned the conviction ruling testimony by a forensic pathologist violated Navarette’s rights. That pathologist was not involved in the autopsy, so the court considered his testimony hearsay. Navarette is once again facing life in prison.

Unique Roswell road signs to be installed

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Roswell may soon be adding some unique welcome signs, like a space ship abducting cows. Each sign would have a different theme tied to Roswell’s history like UFOs, Robert Goddard or Agriculture. The Community Improvement Commission met Thursday night to discuss the modern signs that would replace the current main roadway signs. It’s unclear when the signs would be put up.

Marijuana bill attempts to make a come back

SANTA FE (KRQE) – A marijuana proposal once thought to be dead has been resurrected and struck down again. The House Agriculture, Water and Wildlife Committee voted 7-1 to table the bill that would’ve made marijuana legal. Rep. Bill McCamley says he wants the state to license marijuana producers to grow and sell the drug to adults. Like last year, an identical plan stalled in a Senate committee.

Adam Sandler in town for cast recruiting

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Some big names are in town as part of some new movies. The Adam Sandler movie, “The Ridiculous Six” is currently casting. They need townsmen with beards, women and children. They’re also looking for Native American men, women and children for their comedy. For more information, visit this website.

Wildfires could be reduced if bill passes

SANTA FE (KRQE) – A bill designed to better fight wildfires has unanimously passed by one committee and it’s expected to reach the governor’s desk. The Forest and Watershed Restoration Act would shift $15 million a year from New Mexico Office of the Superintendent of Insurance to a fund for long-term forest and watershed restoration projects. The bill would allow crews to thin forests ripe to ignite.

Proposed website could benefit sick New Mexicans

SANTA FE (KRQE) – A new proposal in the legislature would make it easier for consumers to compare hospital prices. The bill, which could be introduced sometime Friday, would create a website where health care consumers could compare not only the costs of each hospital, but the quality of care they provide. The bipartisan legislation is sponsored by two Albuquerque senators, Gerald Ortiz y Pino and Sander Rue.

Carlsbad cops led on high-speed chase

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – New Mexico State Police say a man who fled during a traffic stop in Carlsbad was drunk, possibly high, and wanted on two outstanding warrants. Billy Teague, 21, allegedly led police on a high-speed chase. Police say they deployed tire spikes, but they didn’t stop him; he drove his vehicle through Carlsbad on its tire rims.Teague has been charged with a number of offenses including second offense DWI and aggravated fleeing.

I-40 crash backs up morning commute

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An accident on I-40 near University caused a lot of people to be late for work Friday morning. Road crews were busy sweeping and cleaning the scene. It looks like three vehicles were involved- including a blue truck that took the brunt of the damage. Injuries are unknown.

Crews fight flames at Brentwood Apartments

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Fire crews quickly rush to an apartment fire after reports of smoke and flames. It happened around 2:15 a.m. at the Brentwood Apartments near Zuni and Louisiana in southeast Albuquerque. Crews arrived quickly, found smoke coming from an apartment and had control of the fire in less than five minutes. No residents were displaced by the fire and no one was injured. The cause of the fire is under investigation. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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