It's come to light after a huge (and increasingly infamous) raid on a Mississippi chicken plant this week that saw 680 workers detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement that ICE also tapped New Mexico for workforce records … and New Mexico told the agency to get lost ($ TNM). Emails obtained by The New Mexican show the ICE office in El Paso sought access to the database, but the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions denied the request; the agency then tried to get more info out of individual staffers, but was unsuccessful. "We are not going to allow an organization that is strategically ripping families apart unregulated access to data on pretty much every working person in the state," said department Secretary Bill McCamley.
The other day the Word told you that the Santa Fe Police Department was threatened with either deadly weapons or bombs, but that reports varied; turns out it was both deadly weapons and bombs, and the would-be attackers have been arrested. Joseph Moises Ortiz Jr. III, 50, and his nephew Isaiah Noah Vigil, 16, were arrested Thursday during a traffic stop south of Santa Fe. No motive has yet been released.
Here he comes
For the past year, the former director of the Miss New Mexico pageant has been under investigation for fraud, tax evasion, racketeering and issuing bad checks, and now he's finally been indicted on embezzlement charges for refusing to hand over scholarship money to contestants. Investigators believe Greg Smith, who ran the pageant for three years, stole more than $10,000 from pageant contestants.
Take it apart
It's hard to forget the heartbreaking case of Jeremiah Valencia in Nambé, the teen whose body was found beaten and buried along a road. The boy's mother, her boyfriend and her boyfriend's son have been under investigation for his abuse and death; the boyfriend is dead by apparent jailhouse suicide, and now prosecutors want to disassemble the mother's cellphone ($ TNM) to see if they can get information off the motherboard that would further incriminate the boyfriend's son.
Drain the swamp
Your Friday long-read comes from SFR's Katherine Lewin, who describes the phenomenons of food desert and food swamp, both of which are observable on Santa Fe's Southside. Food deserts (where residents live far from a grocery store) and food swamps (where there's an abundance of unhealthy eating options) are great contributors to disease, and SFR looked at national studies and local efforts to see what can be done to bring food equality to the city.
Develop a plan first
You may have heard this week that Speaker of the House Brian Egolf asked Gov Michelle Lujan Grisham to call the legislature into a special session to combat domestic terrorism. The Word waited a minute to report on it, though, because it seemed a little premature—and apparently the gov agrees. Her senior adviser on policy told the New Mexico Political Report, "To call for a special session, to lean into the well-founded fears of violence in this state and elsewhere, without a focused plan, without caucus outreach, is the wrong kind of reactive. We can be quick without hurrying."
All that jazz
Santa Feans are invited to rally around jazz legend Bryan Lewis, who was diagnosed with cancer around seven months ago. SFR intern Nicole Madrid talked to Lewis about his impressive jazz career (he was once fired by Charlie Parker in the middle of a gig for overshadowing him on the drumset), as well as what comes next for him. Hint: Cancer isn't slowing him down.