Las Cruces – The conclusion of what has been called the “Sunland Park” cases is a just and fair result considering the quality of the investigation and the scarcity of legally provable facts. If cases are not properly investigated or fully analyzed prior to indictment then justice advances slowly, if at all. These cases were originated and investigated, in part, by investigators working directly for the former District Attorney. Those investigators wrote no contemporaneous reports during their investigation, thus creating severe gaps within the case. The lead investigator attempted to secretly tape record a meeting with current District Attorney Mark D’Antonio, during a frank discussion of the Sunland Park cases. However, the investigator was caught by a law enforcement supervisor and admitted that he was instructed to do so but would not specifically state who told him to do so.
The Honorable Judge Kugler, during the plea and sentence hearing of Mr. Salinas stated that many of the “Sunland Park” cases were flawed as to jurisdictional matters and then he questioned the probable cause elements in some of the other cases. The District Attorney’s office provided the citizens of Sunland Park and Dona Ana County with best possible outcome given the lack of complete investigation and legal analysis of these cases by the previous administration. Mr. D’Antonio stated that “the good people of Sunland Park are the real victims in these cases. My goal in resolving these cases was to acquire a clear and unambiguous admission of guilt in the hopes this would be used as a tool of recovery for the honest hard working people of Sunland Park who desire to have a local government that is honest and works on behalf of the citizens.”