APD explains why dangerous driver’s charges took so long

Miranda Pacheco
Miranda Pacheco

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — She’s one of Albuquerque’s most dangerous drivers and has already killed someone. Eight months after Miranda Pacheco crashed into a building, she hadn’t been charged for it.

“If you’ve killed somebody else, you have the capability of killing another person,” said Sherry Anderson, the widow of Dave Anderson, whom Miranda Pacheco killed in a 2010 crash after swerving off the road.

Last June, Pacheco crashed into an auto glass shop on Eubank. Witnesses found her slumped over in the car. She told the officer at the scene she had taken heroin.

A blood sample was taken and she was free to go.

That was nearly eight months ago. KRQE News 13 started asking about it last week and the officer filed charges Monday.

So, what took so long?

“It’s just the process that we have to go through. We’d hate to take shortcuts and lose the case,” said Det. Christine Frank with the Albuquerque Police Department.

Frank said it took the state lab more than four months to send APD Pacheco’s test results because of understaffing. (The Scientific Laboratory Division said they’ve now hired more employees to fix the backlog.)

SLF said it mailed the results to APD on October 20.

Frank said she didn’t get it in her mailbox until November.Then she had to review it and send it to arresting Ofc. Jason Brown, where the paperwork sat for two and a half months.

“The officer in this case, it was just the fact that they do a lot of arrests, they have a lot of cases pending, they have a lot of court cases all day long,” Frank said.

Anderson wonders how charges for a driver like Pacheco can get lost in the shuffle, allowing her to get behind the wheel again.

“Given the criminal history, and the fact that someone has already died, it’s hard to believe that this is not a case that’s triple red-flagged,” she said.

Frank said she understands the concern.

“I’d say, I completely understand it. But, be patient — she is going to have to answer for the charges,” she said.

When Pacheco swerved off Paseo and killed the bicyclist, she insisted someone cut her off and forced her off the road.

Police and prosecutors simply say she was driving aggressively.

After the Eubank crash, she told her probation officer she’d been attacked at a friend’s house and forced to take that heroin, then said she didn’t want her claims investigated.

Two weeks later, she failed a urine test with her probation on another case – and was sentenced to serve the remainder of the probation in prison. She’s now on parole. News 13 has tried to reach out to her through the Department of Corrections.

After the widow of Dave Anderson spoke out in a story about Pacheco’s criminal history last summer, his ghost bike has been vandalized.

Anderson told KRQE News 13 that won’t keep her from speaking out and that she continues to pray that Pacheco can turn her life around.

“I have never stopped praying for her, that in Christ, she could turn her life around,” Anderson said. “That will always be my hope. That is what is required of me.”

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