State officials not required to notify public about parole absconders | KOB 4

State officials not required to notify public about parole absconders

Nathan O'Neal
Created: December 02, 2019 06:29 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— A man convicted of stabbing a Santa Fe man in 2010 was recently apprehended in Maine after cutting off his ankle monitor while he was still on probation.

Authorities said Ernesto Valdez was released on probation in April 2018. He fled the state seven months later.


Unlike other states, New Mexico does not require that the public be notified when a convicted criminal cuts their ankle monitor.

New Mexico Corrections Department spokesperson Eric Harrison said their protocol is to alert the courts, law enforcement and victims, however there is no set policy when it comes to notifying the public.

“So the process goes—as soon as someone is in absconder status we notify our STIU. They're the Security Threat Intelligence Unit, and they have a fugitive apprehension team that specifically works with the marshals to try and track these absconders down,” said Eric Harrison, spokesman for the New Mexico Corrections Department.

Harrison said the department evaluates each case individually.

“We look at it on a case by case basis—is it necessary for the public to know?” he said.

NMCD has tracked the arrest of more than 3,300 absconders this year, but just over 1,800 are still on the loose.

As for Valdez, Harrison said it is still unclear what he was up to during his year on the run.

“We're going to see what he was up to for the last year if any new crimes were committed to really come to a conclusion and finalize the investigation,” he said.

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