By Lillian Bowe
PNT senior writer
Two men charged in connection with two dozen burglaries in Roosevelt County and two neighboring Texas counties still await trial more than a year after they were arrested.
Javier Ornales, 26, and Wiltse Robert, 61, both of Portales, are charged with receiving stolen property, possession of burglary tools, and possession of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids, one ounce or less and use or possession of drug paraphernalia. They’ve been held in the Roosevelt County Detention Center since their arrest March 20, 2013.
Ornales’ case is still in the beginning stages with the judge and lawyers meeting in pretrial conferences while Robert’s jury trial is expected to start Thursday.
The description of a getaway vehicle from a failed break-in south of Dora led police to a residence on South Roosevelt County 6, where they found a barn behind the residence filled with hundreds of stolen items from a string of burglaries.
The value of stolen items was more than $20,000, according to court documents.
For more than a month, the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Department had a 10-by-30 room filled with the stolen merchandise for people to come by and identify the goods. More than 100 people reclaimed the stolen property, but some has been left.
“There was some stuff left, and according to New Mexico law, those goods will be returned to the men after they are released from jail,” Roosevelt County Chief Deputy Malin Parker said.