Local brothers are wanted for the burning death of Los Lunas man

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New Mexico State Police are asking for the public's help in apprehending two brothers, who police say are involved in the kidnapping and murder of a 28-year-old Los Lunas man.

The suspects, Joe Lawrence Gallegos, 43, and Andrew Gallegos, 36, both of Los Lunas, are charged with an open count of murder, kidnapping and arson following an incident where the body of Adrian Burns was found in a burning vehicle in Bernardo near U.S. 60 and N.M. 304 on Nov. 12.

Joe Lawrence Gallegos is described as 5-feet 7-inches tall, weighing about 220 pounds.

His brother, Andrew, is described as 5-feet 7-inches tall and 150 pounds. Both men have brown eyes and hair and are balding.

The suspects are considered armed and dangerous.

Earlier this month, the Bernardo Volunteer Fire Department discovered the body while responding to a vehicle fire in that location.

New Mexico State Police Lt. Tim Johnson said police are "diligently" working to apprehend the suspects.

Johnson would not specifically comment on why the brothers are implicated in the crime. He also would not comment on what relationship Burns shared with the men.

"(They are suspected) based on interviews done and the evidence that was collected," Johnson said.

Johnson wouldn't comment on any possible motives the men may have had in the crime. He said police have their "boots on the ground" trying to find the whereabouts of the suspects. He said police are continuing to follow up on leads.

The men are charged with an open counts of murder, arson, kidnapping, tampering with evidence and conspiracy.

"I would hate for the (suspects) to know what we know when we (eventually) sit down with them," Johnson said.

Johnson said both men may have gang affiliations and have had a violent past. Both men have had run-ins with the law.

In 2005, Andrew "Smiley" Gallegos and three of his brothers were indicted by a federal grand jury on conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of meth.

Andrew Gallegos was indicted after a multi-agency drug sweep in Valencia County.

As of Tuesday afternoon, New Mexico State Police were still looking for the men.

"I would hope that we are close," Johnson said. "(Eight) days is long enough."


-- Email the author at bruffner@news-bulletin.com.