Belen man allegedly stole seven goats from ex-girlfriend following break-up
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Summons mailed to defendant for first court appearance
FARMINGTON — A Belen man is accused of stealing several goats from his ex-girlfriend, who lives in the Bloomfield area, following an alleged domestic violence incident.
Austin Sauceda, 23, faces seven third-degree felony counts of larceny (livestock) and a misdemeanor count of transporting livestock without an inspection certificate, according to the criminal complaint.
Sauceda did not have legal representation on April 14. A criminal summons was mailed to him for his first court hearing on April 22 in Aztec Magistrate Court.
The criminal complaint was filed by the New Mexico Livestock Board, which conducted the investigation.
A state livestock board inspector was contacted around 12:01 p.m. on April 7, by a relative of the goat owner.
He told the inspector the woman had goats and a saddle stolen from her by her ex-boyfriend, Sauceda, and that he was driving to Belen.
The woman allegedly experienced a domestic violence incident with the defendant, according to court documents. Sauceda allegedly threatened to kill animals and, when the woman checked on the animals, she noticed the goats were missing.
Sauceda was located driving southbound on Interstate 25 in the area of Los Lunas. He was on the phone with a San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputy.
The deputy spoke to the inspector, who told him a firearm was in the vehicle. Sauceda was asked to retrieve his driver's license and exit the vehicle.
A .22 caliber rifle was in the pickup truck, according to court documents.
Sauceda told the inspector he got into an argument with his girlfriend and was "done with her."
He then said he loaded the goats and other property that belonged to him and was heading home.
The inspector decided to impound the 16 goats in the trailer as they worked out which ones Sauceda owned. The animals were taken to a location in Belen.
Some of the goats were released to Sauceda after he provided paperwork to inspectors
The defendant was interviewed on April 10 at the state livestock board office.
Sauceda said he wasn't trying to hurt anyone when he loaded up the goats, but he said it was easier to load them all together.
He claimed the animals were not being taken care of at his ex-girlfriend's place.
Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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