Suspect in Española robberies to remain in custody

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ESPAÑOLA, N.M. — 31-year-old Ricky Martinez Jr., the man connected to a string of robberies in northern New Mexico, is now facing charges in both state and federal court.

An arrest warrant affidavit ties him to three robberies in Española so far, but investigators said he’s connected to several more robberies.

“Seven in the city of Española, one in Santa Fe, and one in Taos,” said Española Police Department Chief Mizel Garcia.

The affidavit does not mention of the fatal robbery Tuesday night at the Blake’s Lotaburger in Española. That’s where 22-year-old Cypress Garcia was killed – as his brother watched, while working beside him.

“I heard two gunshots,” said Cyress, the victim’s brother. “I went over there and I saw my brother on the floor, and then he shot at me twice.”

Cyress said the man tried grabbing the register on his way out, but it was locked so he just left the store without anything.

Martinez Jr. is also facing federal charges, including felon in possession of a firearm. A federal complaint mentions a number of robberies in the Española area, including the fatal robbery at Blake’s.

According to the federal complaint, Martinez “fired one round that hit (the victim) on the chest,” before attacking a second employee.

On Thursday, a federal judge ordered that Martinez stay in custody, at least until a federal detention hearing next week.