One suspect is in custody, two remain at large

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FARMINGTON — Three men have been charged in connection with an incident in which a local restaurant was broken into and alcohol was stolen.

Steven Valino, 39, and Adrian Smith, 35, each have been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit burglary, one count of breaking and entering, and four counts of burglary of a structure.

Thermoin Tahy, 39, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit burglary and one count of burglary of a structure.

Valino was arrested on Monday in Farmington and remained in custody today at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center. He has a preliminary examination hearing scheduled on April 5 in Farmington Magistrate Court.

Arrest warrants have been issued for Smith and Tahy.

The men are accused of breaking into Tequila's Restaurant, 601 E. Broadway, earlier this week.

A patrol officer with the Farmington Police Department was dispatched at approximately 11:40 a.m. Monday in response to a report of a burglary in the back area of the restaurant, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

After the officer arrived, the restaurant manager took him to a room where bottled alcohol is stored. The affidavit states the room is accessible by a metal gate, and the officer noticed that bolts and welds that secured the gate had been broken, and the bottom corner of the gate had been bent.

Video surveillance showed four separate incidents where up to three men entered the area and took several cases of alcohol, the affidavit states.

During the fourth visit, two men were seen on the video using a small shopping cart to carry two cases of alcohol.

Since the restaurant is located near the Animas River walk, the officer visited that location and was advised by another officer that Valino had been arrested for having an open container there earlier in the day, the affidavit states.

During an interview with the officer at the detention center, Valino admitted to planning the burglary with Smith and Tahy, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit also states that while at the river walk, the officer met Tahy, who denied being involved in the incident and claimed that Valino, along with another man, brought a shopping cart full of alcohol to the location.

Another officer contacted Smith, and in an interview, he implicated Valino and Tahy in planning and executing the burglary, the affidavit states.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.

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