New Mexico State Police issued arrest warrants for three people accused of kidnapping and threatening to kill a man last week in Rio Arriba County.
State police are searching for Lucas Naranjo, 40; Aspen Newman, 27; and Nicholas “Troubles” Gonzales, 32, after a man said he was kidnapped by the trio from a Walgreens in Española, according to a statement of probable cause filed in Rio Arriba County Magistrate Court.
The man escaped from a white GMC truck and flagged down an officer on N.M. 74 on Friday, the statement said. As he ran toward the officer, the truck turned and drove down a dirt road toward a residence known to state police as belonging to Jerome Naranjo, recently arrested twice on charges of drug trafficking and shooting at a police officer. He is the cousin of Lucas Naranjo, according to state police.
The man, who was found with blood on his face and “visible in distress,” told the officer that Lucas Naranjo, Newman and Gonzales were in the vehicle. He also said they had kidnapped him and were planning to kill him. They were armed with guns, according to the statement.
Investigators learned the man had left the Ohkay Hotel Casino earlier that day and was traveling south on N.M. 68 when a gray Chrysler 300 and white GMC pickup pulled up near him. One driver pointed a handgun at him and told the man to drive to a Walgreens, according to documents.
When he parked, the man said Gonzales ordered him into the truck and was brandishing a handgun. Newman was driving the vehicle, the statement said.
They confronted the man about missing fentanyl pills, stating they “belonged to the cartel,” but the man denied having them. Eventually Newman and Naranjo arrived with another unidentified man and began assaulting the man, the statement said, adding that at one point, he was choked, bitten and his hands were tied with a cellphone charging cable.
The man said his shoes and vehicle were taken. He told his attackers to drive him to Chamita where he could provide the drugs, but informed police he was planning to take them to his brother’s home so he could call for help, according to the statement.
During the drive, the man said he received numerous threats and was told his abductors would “teach him a lesson he would not forget.” Before arriving at the home, the driver went to the residence of Jerome Naranjo off Rio Arriba County Road 56 while Lucas Naranjo held a machete to the man’s side, the statement said.
While on N.M 74, one person in the car said to be careful because there was a “stater,” referring to a state police officer. The man then freed himself and fled from the vehicle, flagging down the officer, according to the statement.
The three individuals were charged with numerous felony counts including kidnapping, armed robbery and aggravated battery.
Jerome Naranjo was arrested and booked into the Rio Arriba County jail on Saturday on charges of drug trafficking. He was accused in June of stabbing a man in Española. Española police and state police attempted to arrest him June 14, but said he pointed a gun at the state officer and ran away.
He was later found and arrested in La Mesilla. He was booked into the Rio Arriba County jail Aug. 11 but released three days later, jail records show. He has 11 pending charges against him in four cases, including kidnapping, aggravated assault, trafficking controlled substances and aggravated assault against a peace officer.