Former State Auditor Accused Of ID Theft, Decision To Cut New Mexico Men's Soccer Spurs Outrage

Jul 21, 2018

Former State Auditor Accused Of ID Theft, License Crime – Associated Press

A criminal complaint accuses a former senior state auditor of identity theft and altering or forging driver's licenses.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the State Auditor's Office officials went to New Mexico State Police after Terry Becenti was fired earlier this year and officials then found six altered driver's licenses and four Social Security cards.

An affidavit filed Wednesday in court said an official told police that Becenti was fired for poor performance, tardiness and not following policies.

The affidavit said officials were worried because the questionable documents appeared to involve criminal activity and the documents weren't related to work.

The New Mexican reported that attempts to reach Becenti on Thursday were unsuccessful, and online court records don't list an attorney for Becenti who could comment on the allegations.

Decision To Cut New Mexico Men's Soccer Spurs Outrage – Associated Press

The men's soccer team at the University of New Mexico has had a dozen NCAA tournament appearances and hopefuls from around the world have long competed to play for the storied program.

But regents at New Mexico's flagship university voted Thursday following an emotional meeting to cut the program, which has perhaps the highest profile nationally of Lobos men's sports.

Head coach Jeremy Fishbein is digging in his heels.

In an email Friday, he wrote emphatically that the team will not be cut and that preserving the program is the right thing to do.

Twice the team reached the Final Four, made an appearance in a championship game and has regularly won its share of conference titles.

University officials say they're trying to address budget problems and Title IX requirements, but the decision is spurring outrage among fans and community members.

Video Shows Chaotic Scene After Bus Crash – Associated Press

Authorities have released video that shows passengers, some holding small children, walking or limping in shock after a deadly bus crash on a New Mexico highway.

The Sandoval County Sheriff's Office released body camera footage Friday taken from an officer on scene.

In the video, the officer tries to calm people in English and Spanish with the sounds of sirens and a child wailing in the background.

Emergency responders then instruct those with minor injuries to sit on the ground and to keep breathing.

Authorities say the crash on Interstate 25 occurred Sunday after the bus driver lost control while trying to avoid another crash.

The overturned bus was then sideswiped by a semi-truck.

Three women on the bus were killed.

Albuquerque Man Gets 11-Year Sentence In Trafficking Case – Associated Press

A 51-year-old Albuquerque man has been sentenced to 11 years in prison on convictions of trafficking in synthetic drugs.

Fidal Abdeljawad was sentenced Thursday after being convicted in May 2017 of charges in a 2015 indictment involving trafficking in plant material coated with psychoactive drugs that mimic the active ingredient of marijuana.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for New Mexico says the investigation began when federal drug agents learned of trafficking involving a smoke shop owned by Abdeljawad.

A co-defendant also was convicted in the case and sentenced to four years in prison.