Extortionist Threatening New Mexico Schools

Published: November 1, 2006

LAS CRUSES, N.M. – Anonymous extortion letters targeting the residents of Las Cruses, N.M., are now saying that school children will be the victims.

Similar letters were received in August and September with deadlines of Sept. 1 and Sept. 22, respectively. The deadlines passed, but no incidents occurred. Because campuses were specifically mentioned in the most recent letter, however, additional precautions are being taken at area schools.

The most recent note, which was received Oct. 30 by the Sun-News, demanded Las Cruces officials pay a large sum of money by 7 p.m. Nov. 3 or there will be random violence. This threat, however, was more specific compared to previous letters. According to the paper, the third letter says, “Now they will fall in schoolyards.”

In response to the threat, all school doors will be locked and visitors will only be allowed to enter through one front door. Additional personnel will also patrol campus perimeters.

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The high school football game, which will be held Nov. 3 at the Aggie Memorial Stadium at New Mexico State University (NMSU) and is expected to draw thousands of spectators, will also have increased security.

Police believe all three threats may be related. A $51,000 reward is being offered on the case.

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