Man who flooded school ordered to pay damages, serve time

Kirtland man sentenced to six years in prison

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Gaberiel Perez pleaded no contest to five charges, including aggravated burglary.
  • Perez agreed to pay $62,400 in restitution in the Kirtland Elementary School case.
  • Flooding caused extensive damage to the school building, including three classrooms and the cafeteria.
Gaberiel Perez

FARMINGTON — A Kirtland man convicted of causing more than $60,000 in damage to Kirtland Elementary School will that sum to the school district as part of a plea agreement.

Gaberiel Perez, 20, was sentenced to six years in prison Monday morning by District Judge John Dean Jr. for crimes across four separate criminal cases, according to Dustin O'Brien, San Juan County Chief deputy district attorney.

Perez agreed to the plea agreement during an April 30 hearing.

Tyson Quail, Perez's attorney, could not be reached for comment.

The agreement states Perez pleaded no contest to five counts, including unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon on school premises, aggravated burglary and criminal damage to property.

Perez was facing 17 charges, but 12 of them, including receiving stolen property, burglary of a vehicle and larceny, were dismissed.

Perez was facing four charges for breaking a water pipe on top of the Kirtland Elementary School building on or around Sept. 8, which flooded parts of the school. The pipe was connected to the school's evaporative cooler system.

During an interview with a San Juan County Sheriff's Office detective, Perez stated he and two other males were on the roof drinking alcoholic beverages and that he broke the pipe when he stepped on it, according to court documents.

The damage to the building affected three classrooms, an electrical room and the cafeteria, and initially was estimated at $20,000 to $25,000.

The plea agreement states Perez agreed to make restitution in relation to the Kirtland Elementary School case in the amount of $62,400.

The aggravated burglary conviction stems from Perez stealing a handgun from a truck on Sept. 9 from a residence along County Road 6480 on the north side of Kirtland, according to the Daily Times archives.

Perez was arrested on Oct. 19 for being in possession of a handgun on the Kirtland Elementary School campus, according to court documents.

He was spotted exiting a portable restroom by a teacher and was later found with a pink handgun.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at

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