Cops and courts: De Baca probable cause hearing set

A probable cause hearing to determine if allegations against De Baca County Sheriff Gary Graves warrant a recall election is June 20-22 in Fort Sumner, according to district court officials.

The original hearing was set for March. Continuances were granted by Judge Joe Parker, and the trial was rescheduled for a later date. The last continuance was granted May 13.
The De Baca County Concerned Citizens have sought the recall of Graves.

Complaints against Graves include allegations that he transported prisoners at speeds upward of 100 mph, failed to maintain proper financial records and improperly used public money for his own use.

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Officials with the Office of the Medical Investigator disclosed findings Friday in the deaths of Agapito Lucero, 55, and wife Margaret Lucero, 48, of Fort Sumner.

According to the office, Agapito Lucero died of a single shotgun blast to the chest, while Margaret Lucero died of shotgun blasts to the head, pelvis and back.

The couple was found dead on May 5 at their residence in Fort Sumner.

The New Mexico State Police is still actively investigating the shootings, officials said Friday.

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A man accused of assaulting an adult detention officer and a sheriff’s deputy last month was granted a continuance Thursday in Magistrate Court.

Benito Chavez, 28, faces charges of assault by a prisoner, aggravated battery on a peace officer and resisting arrest stemming from a May 5 incident at the county jail.

According to an incident report, Chavez struck a female guard and a sheriff’s deputy before being subdued by a taser.

No new trial date has been set.

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The Clovis Police Department will be conducting DWI saturation patrols and checkpoints starting Monday and running through June 19, according to a press release from the department.

The initiative is part of Operation Clovis Safe Summer, a program unveiled late last month by local law enforcement that is intended to curb drunken driving, driving without safety belts, drug trafficking and violent crime over the summer months.

The different parts of Operation Clovis Safe Summer will be funded primarily through state grants, officials said.

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Willie Osby, 36, of Clovis was sentenced to three years in prison Friday for trafficking methamphetamine, according to the district attorney’s office.

The charges stem from an undercover sting operation, in which Osby sold methamphetamine to an undercover officer in Clovis, according to the press release.

According to a press release from the district attorney’s office, Osby was asked at the hearing if he understood what his conviction and sentence to prison meant. He responded, “It means I can’t sell drugs anymore,” the release said.

Deputy District Attorney Fred Van Soelen prosecuted the case for the state of New Mexico.

Members of Osby’s family could not be reached for comment.

Cops and Courts is compiled by CNJ staff writer David Irvin. He can be contacted at 763-6991 or: