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Man accused of burglary following DNA test
Empty water bottle found at crime scene provides link
FARMINGTON — A man is facing new charges, including aggravated burglary, after a DNA sample collected as evidence at a crime scene matches a sample collected from the suspect.
Talele Mika, 37, is accused of aggravated battery, and breaking and entering charges filed on Aug. 24 in Farmington Magistrate Court, according to court records.
He is accused of breaking into a warehouse around April 7, 2015, in the 400 block of South Lorena Avenue and stealing eight firearms, according to the criminal complaint.
Mika did not have legal representation as of this afternoon, according to court records. He made his first court appearance in front of Magistrate Judge Rena Scott Monday morning.
The victim told a Farmington Police Department officer a ladder was used to enter the fenced yard, and a lock on a door was broken, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
A screwdriver, an empty water bottle and a flashlight were collected as evidence from the scene.
A DNA test was conducted on the water bottle in June 2015, and the test results received in September 2016 showed the bottle had the DNA of a male who could not be identified. The results were logged into a system of DNA databases.
The Farmington detective investigating the case received a "hit" on the DNA sample for Mika in November, according to court documents. A forensic scientist suggested the detective obtain a sample from Mika for comparisons.
It wasn't until Mika was arrested on May 14 and accused of possession of a controlled substance that police were able to obtain a DNA sample from him, according to court documents.
The detective received a report on the results on Aug. 7 that stated the DNA found on the water bottle matches Mika's DNA profile.
When a search warrant was executed on Mika for the DNA sample at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on May 16, he told police he didn't know anything about a burglary.
He remained in custody at the county jail on a no-bond hold as of this afternoon.
When Mika was arrested on May 14, he had two warrants for failure to appear on a larceny conviction and probation violation on a possession of a controlled substance conviction, according to court records.
A hearing regarding the two convictions is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sept. 25 in Aztec District Court.
Mika's preliminary hearing on the burglary case is set for 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 6.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.