New details emerge on federal investigation targeting APD DWI officers
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Four Albuquerque police officers and a former supervisor within the DWI unit are the target of a federal investigation.
After KOB 4 spent days looking through property records, and decades’ worth of DWI cases and arrests, we have identified four APD officers and one local attorney at the center of a federal investigation.
We also confirmed these four officers, all in the DWI unit, were added just weeks ago to the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s list of officers who have credibility issues as a witness in court.
KOB was also on the ground after the FBI raided the office of the local attorney who represented several clients connected to those officers in the recently dismissed DWI cases.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has also confirmed that the raids are connected to their investigation. None of these people we are identifying have been officially charged.
The four officers have been identified as Honorio Alba Jr., Officer Harvey Johnson Jr., Officer Joshua Montano and Officer Nelson Ortiz. KOB is working to confirm the identity of a supervisor who is also involved. The local attorney who is being investigated is Thomas Clear III.
“It was very disappointing, I was sitting in my office and a deputy chief came to me and said, ‘Chief I have some information. We have a confidential source who has come forward and made the allegations that they overheard DWI unit officers talking about making money off of DWI arrests,” said Harold Medina, the APD Chief.
In this alleged scheme, these officers make a DWI arrest, that person then hires this particular attorney, the officers don’t show up to court, and the case is dismissed. We reviewed Thomas Clear III history for the past 10 years… and saw this pattern play out case after case.
Last Thursday, the FBI raided the home of an APD officer in Los Lunas, and property records confirmed that was Harvey Johnson Jr.’s home. He was the arresting officer in 33 of the 156 dismissed cases.
Honorio Alba Jr. was recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers in 2023 when he was named Officer of the Year. Alba Jr. was named in 72 of the dismissed cases and made around $148,000 in 2023.
Joshua Montano has been on the DWI unit for some time. Back in 2022, Montano was hit and severely injured when a drunk driver hit him. The community and a local church came together to help his family with medical bills.
The other officer is Nelson Ortiz. We called Ortiz but he hung up before we were able to ask him about the federal investigation.
KOB also attempted to reach the attorney, Thomas Clear III, and was not able to reach him.
All four of the officers are on administrative leave and the other officer who is a former supervisor has been reassigned.
This story has been updated to indicate the DWI Unit supervisor in question is not currently with the unit. He is still with the police department in a different role.