APD Officers’ Future Amid DWI Unit Investigation

At this juncture, four out of seven officers under investigation in the Albuquerque Police Department (APD)’s DWI unit scandal have relinquished their posts. The officers involved include Lieutenant Justin Hunt, and officers Honorio Alba Jr., Harvey Johnson Jr., and Nelson Ortiz. The officers are suspected of participating in an illicit arrangement wherein they allegedly collaborated with a local lawyer to avoid court appearances, causing the dismissal of DWI cases. This has compelled the Bernalillo County district attorney to dismiss over 200 active DWI cases.

According to an APD representative, the officers resigned in recent weeks, prior to being questioned by the Internal Affairs department about the concerning scheme. APD Chief Harold Medina affirmed that despite the officers’ resignations, the inquiry is not concluded. He emphasized that public reassurance and accountability remain paramount, adding that there will still be consequences for the resigned officers.

Upon completion of APD’s internal investigation, the results will be transferred to the New Mexico Law Enforcement Certification Board, which has the ability to suspend or rescind the officers’ law enforcement certification. This may prevent them from working at any law enforcement agency in the state. Furthermore, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is also probing the APD’s DWI unit, a procedure that will not halt due to the officers’ resignations. If the federal investigators press charges, the officers could face criminal repercussions.

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