Former Police Detective Charged With Misappropriating Police Dept. Amo
ESPANOLA: A recently resigned City of Española detective, Cpl. Solomon Romero was charged in February by the District Attorney’s office with embezzlement for alleged activities around the improper disposal and personal use of firearms and ammunition. District Attorney Angela “Spence” Pacheco’s office charges Romero with converting ammunition valued at $412 to his own use.
Durinag a separate but related investigation reports surfaced that implicate Romero in redirecting the transfer of Espanola PD owned ammunition from a transition to an Albuquerque based firearms dealer and instead delivering it to an Espanola based graphics design and screen printing store. The charges allege that Romero exchanged two cases of ammunition for T-shirts printed with a message commemorating a special event for the Espanola Police Department and then selling the shirts to fellow police officers and pocketing the cash.
In a related investigation, Romero was also implicated as playing a role in the improper transfer of older model weapons valued at $25,000 from the Espanola Police Department for new ones of similar value. Former Espanola Police Chief Eric Garcia who is now the Police Chief for the City of Santa Fe was implicated in failure to follow proper city Procurement and Purchasing Policies as well as State Procurement Code in the manner in which older firearms were exchanged for new ones. Sources say Garcia has indicated that Romero was directly responsible for administering the weapons exchange and that Garcia was unaware of any impropriety in the process.