By Roger Lanse
According to police documents, on Aug. 25, 2017, Silver City Police Department officers were dispatched to Red Dog Field Services at 3130 E. Highway 180, in reference to a missing John Deere Gator ATV that was being worked on for a customer.
On Sunday, Sept. 10, officers advised that they had found the ATV in a wooded area east of the Lintero Apartments and that the operator was on scene. According to an affidavit for arrest, the male operator identified himself as 30-year-old John Brandon who said he had a driver’s license out of Missouri, but it was not present. Brandon advised officers, the affidavit stated, that he had bought the vehicle from a man named Brandon Lacey Jr. and had gotten a ride to about halfway between Silver City and Los Lunas, NM to meet Lacey.
The title Brandon presented as proof of ownership raised eyebrows as it appeared to have been printed on regular paper from what appeared to be a basic color printer, the affidavit said. Other security features were absent from the proffered title, as well as irregularities in the description of the vehicle, and an obvious change to the seller’s signing date.
When an individual from Red Dog Field Services came to inspect the Gator, the affidavit stated, he advised officers that the VIN sticker on the vehicle was fake. Although things weren’t looking good for him, Brandon was not arrested at this time pending further investigation. That further investigation determined the male operator in question was not John Brandon, but Torey B. Logan, 41, of Silver City.
On Monday, Sept. 11, charges against Logan were filed in district court including, receiving or transferring stolen motor vehicles and altering or changing engine or other number, fourth degree felonies; forgery, a third degree felony; and two petty misdemeanors.