Mexico City, Mexico – New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that Juan David Villegas was successfully extradited this afternoon and is on U.S. soil in the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service. Attorney General Balderas used the extradition process for the return of this fugitive back to the United States, and as a result Juan David Villegas was captured and returned to stand trial for the deaths of his wife and four daughters in New Mexico. On June 12, 2016, it is alleged that former fugitive Juan David Villegas shot and killed his wife, Cynthia Villegas and shot and killed his four daughters: Yamilen Villegas; Cynthia Janeth Villegas; Abigayl (Abby) Villegas; and Idaleigh (Idaly) Villegas. After Villegas allegedly killed his wife and four daughters, he fled the United States for Mexico where he was apprehended by U.S. Marshals.
Las Vegas, NM – In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced the launch of his office’s statewide Conscious Campus initiative. The educational initiative aims to help college communities discuss the realities of sexual assault on campus, explore interventions, and benefit from community resources.
Albuquerque, NM – This afternoon, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that Jeffrey Morrill of Albuquerque was sentenced to two years in prison and four years of supervised probation with lifetime sex offender registration after being convicted at trial of two counts of child exploitation by distribution and one count of child exploitation by possession. Graphic, sexual images of young girls ranging in age from six to ten were in Mr. Morrill’s possession at the time of his arrest. The defendant waived a jury trial and Second Judicial District Judge Zamora found Morrill guilty on the above mentioned counts in December 2016.
Santa Fe, NM – New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas and attorneys general of California, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, the chief legal officers of the cities of Boulder (CO), New York City, Philadelphia, and of Broward County (FL), and the City of South Miami (FL) issued the following statement today in response to President Trump’s executive order that he described as paving the way to eliminating the Clean Power Plan rule: “We strongly oppose President Trump’s executive order that seeks to dismantle the Clean Power Plan. Addressing our country’s largest source of carbon pollution—existing fossil fuel-burning power plants—is both required under the Clean Air Act and essential to mitigating climate change’s growing harm to our public health, environments, and economies. We won’t hesitate to protect those we serve—including by aggressively opposing in court President Trump’s actions that ignore both the law and the critical importance of confronting the very real threat of climate change.”
Santa Fe, NM – Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced New Mexico will receive the largest tobacco settlement payment in April 2017, a total payment in excess of $50 million. This is due to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) securing an additional $14.5 million after a judge agreed with the OAG that New Mexico was being shortchanged by Big Tobacco. The cigarette industry didn’t want to make the increased payments it owed to New Mexico, but could not identify any legal basis for stopping enforcement of a prior order obtained by the Office of the Attorney General for the extra $14.5 million. Late yesterday, First Judicial District Court Judge Ortiz agreed with the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General.
Albuquerque, NM – The United States Supreme Court unanimously agreed with New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, and attorneys general from Delaware and Massachusetts, when it issued its ruling today in the Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District case by requiring public schools to provide higher standards for students with disabilities. The ruling reverses what had been the law in New Mexico, and now educational plans for students with disabilities must be designed so that students can make educational progress, rather than the barely more than minimal advancement that was permitted by previous law.
Santa Fe, NM – Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that the Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud and Elder Abuse Division, a Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, recovered over $6 million last year. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General reports $6,205,203 in recoveries made by the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General during federal fiscal year 2015-2016.
Santa Fe, NM – New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas released the following statement in response to the ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson to halt President Trump’s new, illegal travel plan:
“I am pleased that the judge agreed that this new executive order was enacted with a clear, discriminatory intent to act as a poorly-disguised Muslim ban, and that the ban would harm our universities and economy in New Mexico.”
Albuquerque, NM - Attorney General Hector Balderas filed a brief today in support of Hawaii’s challenge to President Trump’s revised executive order restricting travel and refugee resettlement. The amicus brief, filed by 13 states and the District of Columbia, requests that the federal court hearing Hawaii’s lawsuit enter a nationwide injunction preventing the implementation and enforcement of the executive order that will go into effect on Thursday. The brief explains that despite the Trump Administration’s revision of its original executive order to remove obviously unconstitutional provisions, the new executive order remains an unconstitutional attempt to restrict travel from six predominately-Muslim countries and to suspend completely the nation’s refugee resettlement program.
Santa Fe, NM - On the last day of National Consumer Protection Week, Attorney General Hector Balderas released a Consumer Protection “Go-To Guide” for New Mexicans. While this list of resources is not intended to be comprehensive, if you have questions about possible scams, making smart financial decisions or simply need help, this list is a quick reference guide for assistance. If you need help finding a specific resource, please call the Office of the Attorney General toll free at 1-844-255-9210.