SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday announced the re–establishment of the Governor’s Organized Crime Commission. The bipartisan commission was created in statute in the 1970’s, but has seldom been fully utilized by governors. The seven members are appointed by the governor and must be approved by the state senate.
“These seven individuals have among them well over a century of expertise in law enforcement and the judicial system. This commission will serve as a powerful tool to hit organized crime where it hurts the most,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “We must do more to interrupt organized crime operations in our state, and these are sophisticated groups that take a sophisticated approach. That’s what I am tasking this group to do.”
The members of the commission are:
- Commission Chair Sam Bregman, District Attorney of Bernalillo County
- Sheriff John Allen, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department
- Secretary Jason Bowie, Department of Public Safety
- Sonya K. Chavez, United States Marshal, New Mexico
- Chief Eddie Flores, Western New Mexico University Police Department
- Marcus Montoya, Eighth Judicial District Attorney
- Honorable Judith K. Nakamura, former Chief Justice, New Mexico Supreme Court
The Commission will rely heavily on the expertise both within the group and beyond, including New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez and the Business Advisory Council for Crime Reduction created by the governor earlier this year.
“We will work with all law enforcement to assess and evaluate the activities and problems involving organized crime and develop a comprehensive plan to suppress and fight organized crime by the cartels, their affiliates, and other criminal organizations,” said Sam Bregman, Bernalillo County District Attorney. “It is a long road to get a handle on crime and public safety issues we face every day but everyone on this commission is committed to executing this crucial first step.”
“This commission is a cutting-edge opportunity,” said U.S. Marshal Sonya K. Chavez. “We already have a cadre of resources across the state, and we will do our best to coordinate them and bring them together to focus on what is hurting New Mexico.”
“I look at this commission as an extension of the work I did as a judge,” said Honorable Judith K. Nakamura, the former Chief Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court. “At the end of the day, the job of a judge is to prevent crime. It was difficult to achieve alone but when we work together, we can lessen the case load and make New Mexico a safer place to live.”