Man charged with altering registration sticker to appear current

SANTA FE COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – A Santa Fe County man racked up a slew of charges after a traffic stop earlier this month, including allegations that he tried to change his registration sticker on his license plate from “16” to “18” with a permanent marker.

David Vigil, 64, was arrested on May 5 after a Santa Fe County Sheriff’s deputy noticed some unusual behavior on I-25 south of town.

“Coming up the interstate, and this guy is weaving within his lane,” one deputy told another, as captured on lapel camera video, “I run the plate, and the plate doesn’t come back to car.”

The deputy pulled over Vigil, who claimed he just got the car and didn’t have his paperwork together.

The charges appear to rack up at that point.

“No registration, no insurance, roadways landed for traffic — you were failing to maintain your lane of travel — and then you have the wrong license plate on your vehicle. And then the revoked license,” another deputy told him.

But just when deputies thought they were done, one spied something wrong with the license plate.

“We got a felony right here, my friend,” one said.

“Looks like he tried to make that an eight, doesn’t it? That’s a felony,” the deputy said, pointing to the registration sticker.

The other deputy ripped the plate off the car, which was then seized.

At the jail, Vigil asked to call his sister. Sources tell KRQE News 13 his sister is a magistrate court judge elected in 2016 to serve a four-year term.

She doesn’t answer her brother’s call, so he leaves a voicemail.

“Hi Virginia, this is David. I’m just being booked into Santa Fe County jail, because I don’t have all my paperwork on the vehicle, and I’m just calling to let you know. I’ll see a judge in the morning. Please have a good night. Thanks for your prayers, talk to you later,” he said.

The deputy told Vigil he wanted to ask him a question about the license plate and the altered sticker, to which Vigil responded, “Oh, sure, it just came with the car.”

But the deputy told Vigil he must Mirandize him first. Once he does, Vigil appeared to change his mind on talking.

“You know what, I’ve learned to just shut up,” he said.

KRQE News 13 checked, and Vigil did not appear before his sister for his arraignment on this case. He’s also slated to appear before a different judge for his next court date, which is next month.

Vigil does have a lengthy history of arrests, but more often than not, he’s either been acquitted by a jury or the case has been dismissed. He does have a DWI conviction. 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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