Prior to the 2018 Village of Chama election for mayor, Village Clerk Maggie Valdez reported that she received threatening text messages from an unknown telephone number.
A report by New Mexico State Police Officer Jolene Jones states the harassing text messages sent to Valdez and her friend Jessica Cordova were spoofed.
“The phone numbers disclosed on the text messages were spoofed, which is known as caller ID spoofing,” Jones wrote in the report. “This is the practice of causing the telephone network to indicate to the receiver of a call that the originator of the call is a station other than the true originating station and is very difficult to trace.”
According to the State Police report, Cordova said she received the first text message on Jan. 29, 2018.
“Piece of trash and hippo better watch your back in that office u (expletive) (expletive) go cry to the newspapers,” the message states.
Cordova also told officers that on Jan. 26, 2018, three days before she received the message, she spoke to former Chama mayor Ron Russom’s wife Deborah Cordova (no relation to Jessica) at a local basketball game.
At the time, she said Deborah Cordova had given her a piece of paper with her husband’s phone number and asked her to call him about a taking over Valdez’ job.
Jessica Cordova also told Jones that she saw Deborah Cordova again the following day on Jan. 27, 2018 at another basketball game.
Jessica Cordova said that Deborah Cordova invited her husband Brandon Cordova to come to dinner, but that he declined.
The next day, on Jan. 28, 2018, Jessica Cordova said that she and Valdez had dinner together and posted a photo of themselves on Snapchat, which she believes was seen by Deborah Cordova.
“(Jessica Cordova) stated she believes this possibly upset (Deborah Cordova) due to the fact that the harassing text messages to her and Maggie started on Monday, Jan. 29, 2018,” Jones wrote in her report.
Valdez received the same message as Jessica Cordova on Jan. 29, 2018.
The report states that Valdez also received several calls from restricted phone numbers on her personal cellphone and other harassing text messages earlier that month.
“(Valdez) stated (Jessica Cordova) had come to the Chama Village Hall after she received the same text message and was scared so she visited with Valdez,” the report states.
Soon after their meeting, Valdez received another threatening text message.
“U piece of trash u and hippo should quit your jobs before election watch your back (expletive) are you going to have (expletive) (expletive) Jessica under your tail tomorrow u (expletive) (expletive) (expletive) all of you,” the text message states.
During her interview with Jones, Valdez said she and Russom “have their differences.”
“He had made it known throughout the community he does not care for her,” the report states. “(Valdez) also stated (Deborah Cordova) has a history of harassing people.”
After interviewing Valdez and Jessica Cordova, Jones spoke to Russom and his wife Deborah Cordova.
According to the report, Deborah Cordova also said she gave her husband’s phone number to Jessica Cordova, but that she never spoke to Brandon Cordova or talked about Valdez.
“(Deborah Cordova) stated all the allegations are false and believes it is (Maggie Valdez) and (Jessica Cordova) texting themselves these threatening messages,” the report states.
Jones then reviewed Deborah Cordova’s cell phone and she did not see any calls made by a restricted number or “observe any cell phone apps which would assist in blocking her cell phone number or assist in blocking her identification know as spoofing,” the report states.
In his interview, Russom said that he had his wife passed along his contact information to Jessica Cordova because his friend was looking for a clerical employee and he knew she recently lost her job.
Jones also reviewed Russom’s cell phone and noticed that there were text messages between him and Jessica Cordova that she had deleted from her own cell phone.
“She had deleted a few messages and did not disclose the whole conversation in the messages she provided to me,” Jones wrote.
Caught in the lies
While Jones interviewed Russom and Deborah Cordova, Valdez and Jessica Cordova received another set of threatening text messages.
“At no point in time during the interview did Mr. Russom or Mrs. Cordova leave my presence, nor did they use their cell phones,” Jones wrote.
This means that it could not have been Russom or Deborah Cordova sending the text messages to Valdez and Jessica Cordova.
The text message sent to Valdez said, “dumb (expletive) (expletive) u think I’m scared I’m not skank trash.”
Jessica Cordova received a different message.
“U gross white trash I feel sorry for ur husband u (expletive) ur ugly,” the text states.
Jones did a second interview with Jessica Cordova because of the inconsistencies in her story.
Jessica Cordova had told her aunt that Russom was attempting to contact her to set her up on a date with a millionaire friend of his, Jones wrote.
“(Jessica Cordova) stated she was just joking around,” Jones wrote in her report.
Jessica Cordova also confessed that she lied about her husband’s interaction with Deborah Cordova at the basketball game.
“(Jessica Cordova) stated she made that up because she didn’t want to look that her and (Deborah Cordova) were in cahoots and she knew it was going to be her word against (Deborah Cordova’s),” the report states. “(Jessica Cordova) stated she involved (her husband Brandon Cordova), so he could be her back up because she knew (Deborah Cordova) was going to lie.”
When Jones completed her investigation on Jan. 30, 2018, the threatening text messages and restricted phone calls stopped.
The report states that Jones contacted the New Mexico Secretary of State Office and the State of New Mexico Office of the Attorney General to inform them about the threats made against Valdez regarding the election.
According to a previous Rio Grande SUN article, the election occurred without any problems.
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