Candidate Paid Demetrio Trujillo to Shoot NM Democratic Politicians


Pena organized a plot to shoot New Mexico Politicians according to plea filing. (

In a Federal Court filing released to the public on Friday in the state of New Mexico, Demetrio Trujillo, says the candidate, Solomon Peña, hired him after failing to win a seat in the state legislature in November 2022.

The document released is a plea agreement of Guilty by the Defendant Demetrio Trujillo.

In a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, he admitted to five charges, including conspiracy, election interference and using a firearm. In a statement, federal prosecutors said that in December 2022, Mr Peña paid Trujillo to shoot at the homes of three former election candidates to intimidate them.

In January Mr Peña and Trujillo carried out one of the planned shootings, the statement added. Trujillo is due to be sentenced later.

Mr Peña lost the election to the state legislature by nearly 50 percentage points, but alleges that the vote was "rigged". Police say he approached the four Democrats he later targeted to pressure them to overturn the results.

At the time, Mr Peña's Twitter account suggested he may have been inspired by former president Donald Trump's false claims of election fraud.

His last message on Twitter, posted on 15 November 2022, read: "Trump just announced for 2024. I stand with him. I never conceded my [House District] race. Now researching my options."

In the please bargain agreement he admits guilt...

"By my signature on this plea agreement, I ( Trujillo ) am acknowledging that I am pleading guilty because I am, in fact, guilty of the offenses to which I am pleading guilty. I recognize and accept responsibility for my criminal conduct.

Moreover, in pleading guilty, I acknowledge that if I chose to go to trial instead of entering this plea, the United States could prove facts sufficient to establish my guilt of the offenses to which I am pleading guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, including any facts alleged in the indicbnent that increase the statutory minimum or maximum penalties. I specifically admit the following facts related to the charges against me, and declare under penalty of perjury that all of these facts are true and correct...


a. My son is co-defendant JOSE LOUISE TRUJILLO.

b. I met co-defendant SOLOMON PENIA through the individuals identified in the indicfrnent as CO-CONSPIRATOR 3 and CO-CONSPIRATOR 4.

c. PENA campaigned to become the Disfrict 14 representative in the New Mexico House of Representatives.

As the November 2022 election approached, PENA began saying that the election would be rigged against him.

On November 7,2022, the election took place and PENA lost his race.

At some point after the election, he claimed to me and others that the election had been rigged against him.

d. After November 7, 2O22, PENA decided to pressure the members of the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners to refuse to certify the results of the election. He paid me to help, and I agreed.

e. On November 19, 2022, JOSE LOUISE TRUJILLO provided me the address ofV ICTM l.

f. On November 21, 2022,the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners voted to certift the results of the election that PENIA lost. PENIA and I determined to move forward with his plan to intimidate his political targets.

g. On December 4,2022, Pena paid me to shoot a firearm at the private residence of VICTIM l, and I did. I understood that PENA had chosen VICTIM I as a target for intimidation because VICTIM I had served as an election official and because they had been a candidate for elective office.

h. On December 8,2022, Pena paid me to shoot a frrearm at the private residence of VICTIM 2, and I did. I understood that Pena had chosen VICTIM 2 as atarget for intimidation because VICTIM 2 had been a candidate for elective offtce and to intimidate VICTM 2 from campaigning as a candidate for elective office.

i. On January 3,2O23, PENA, JOSE LOLIISE TRUJILLO, and I drove to the residence of VICTIM 4, and we carried out a shooting intended to intimidate VICTIM 4. I understood that Pena had chosen VICTM 4 as a target for intimidation because VICTM 4 had been a candidate for elective offrce and to intimidate VICTIM 4 from campaigning as a candidate for elective office.

8. By signing this agreement, the Defendant admits that there is a factual basis for each element of the crime(s) to which the Defendant is pleading guilty. The Defendant agrees that the Court may rely on any of these facts, as well as facts in the presentence report, to determine the Defendant's sentence, including, but not limited to, the advisory guideline offense level.

The cases against the trio followed warnings of escalating political violence in the US, especially after Donald Trump and his supporters widely spread lies that the former president had lost the 2020 election because of voter fraud.

As a result and in a reaction to these drive-by shootings attributed to Peña and the Trujillos, New Mexico legislators passed legislation that makes it a state felony to intimidate election officials. The legislation also allows some elected officials and political candidates to withhold their home addresses from public, government websites.

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