The Piercing Truth

This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes

Nov 26, 2012

A True Tale of Deceit

Like all great dramas, the one unfolding below begins with good intentions and becomes sinister in its details and details…



This is a story you will have to read from start to finish.  This story reads like a Steven King novel but is non-fiction, where real lives have been impacted.  We will offer you this much: the end of the story should come as a shock but living in Albuquerque, you will simply say to yourself, "Why doesn’t anybody do something about it!?!"

In 2001 a local Albuquerque hi-tech company named InLight Solutions spun off of two companies: Lumidigm and TruTouch.  Lumidigm initially was a research and development company focusing on bio-metric technology.  They developed devices that could identify certain things by the mere touch of a person’s skin upon a light emitting sensor.  Lumidigm’s devices could confirm a person’s identity via reading their thumbprint or other devices could determine blood-sugar levels or analyze the amount of alcohol in a person’s system.  This technology was sought after by many government agencies and was highly promoted by Lumidigm:

“Our device ensures it's a real finger, and ensures you get a good-quality image."--Robert Rowe, Chief Technology Officer of Lumidigm. Albuquerque Journal, 8/22/05.

 Lumidigm’s sister company, TruTouch, produced products incorporating Lumidigm’s devices. One such product was the TruTouch 1800 which was a machine that could determine a person’s blood-alcohol level by mere touch.  Instead of requiring the invasive procedures otherwise used by drawing breath, blood, or urine, the TruTouch 1800BC presented a means to easily assess a person’s BAC and in only about a minute’s time.

In 2005 then Representative, Heather Wilson (R-NM), and then Bernalillo County Sheriff, Darren White, announced $500,000 in federal funding used to support a pilot program using emerging technology to combat drunk driving.  In June 2006, Senator, Pete Domenici (R-NM), announced that TruTouch received more funding.  This funding was in the form of a $216,000 federal Small Business Innovation Research grant to assist in its blood-alcohol measurement research.  Domenici stated, “…new technologies like this can be used to help make our roads safer.” TruTouch’s target market for its product was now public record; Law enforcement.

Later in the year the Albuquerque Journal reported the CEO of MADD highlighted the importance of technology offered by TruTouch in that, “[E]merging technology is one of the most promising and potentially effective approaches to eliminate drunk driving in this country.” The paper added:

“The state doesn’t need another person or family coming home from a soccer tournament…to be slaughtered by another drunk who shouldn’t have been behind the wheel in the first place.”—Albuquerque Journal, 11/19/06.

In February 2006, the Bernalillo County Commissioners considered a $494,000 proposal by TruTouch to pilot a DWI enforcement program using three TruTouch 1800 machines.  In praise of TruTouch, Darren White boasted, “[t]his is the future of DWI technology…I was a DWI officer almost 20 years ago, and the machine that we use to do the breath tests is pretty much the same, with just a few minor changes. I think this is going to revolutionize the how law enforcement does DWI investigations." (Albuquerque Journal, 2/27/07).

With almost $1Million in public funding, a local market rich in application, and the chief officer of one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the State, the Albuquerque Journal correctly opined that “TruTouch Tech Ready to Grow in 2008” (Albuquerque Journal, 1/7/08).  In February 2008, White announced his candidacy for the Congressional seat being vacated by Heather Wilson.  And with the 2008 Summer rapidly closing in, the Bernalillo County Commissions granted $380,000 to Darren White’s department to buy three TruTouch 1800BC machines and use them in the field.  In typical bombast, White stated, “[l]ong term, my sense is this device will revolutionize the way we conduct DWI investigations.” Noting that BCSO is the first law enforcement agency in the country to use this technology, it is important to get machines field tested so that their results can be validated in the field and can be used as evidence in the court “…hoping that within two years courts in NM will recognize the device.” (Albuquerque Journal, 5/29/08). 

With headlines like “APD Pulls Out All Stops in Summer Crackdown,” the May 30, 2008 Albuquerque Journal editorialized the importance of a zero tolerance approach to DWI and promoted BCSO’s new TruTouch devices and that they will be used in the field by deputies.

But then, it all disappeared.

With the entire ramp up, federal and state money, public rhetoric, promotion, and more DWI tragedy, the success of TruTouch’s vaunted machines disappeared in the news until October 27, 2008 when it was revealed TruTouch’s then-President, James McNally, and board member David Durgin made illegal campaign contributions to candidate White.  Martin Heinrich then walked over White's grave winning the seat by over 12-points.  In February 2009, Bernalillo County severed ties with TruTouch because of its company leaders making illegal contributions to White in violation of state law.  White slinked away and remained quiet until October 6, 2009 where upon RJ Berry won the Albuquerque mayor’s race.  Berry immediately confirmed that White would be the city’s new public safety czar overseeing the largest public safety agencies in the state with White resigning as Bernalillo County Sheriff.

Yet the story of White’s involvement with and for TruTouch only evolved.  BCSO’s new sheriff, Dan Houston, made a startling discovery one day in late winter of 2011.  Houston found the three TruTouch machines sitting in a closet off of a conference room.  The TruTouch 1800BC units were still in the packaging, having never been used.  Because over $1Million of public money had been spent on these three machines for no legitimate purpose, Houston invited the state’s attorney general Gary King to investigate the matter. White immediately projected blame on TruTouch stating that:

“After many failed attempts to get TruTouch to address our concerns, we offered to renegotiate a contract with terms for which we hoped they could comply, in order to put the equipment to use.—Darren White. Albuquerque Journal, 3/15/11.

TruTouch responded by saying not only did they provide training to BCSO personnel but they had multiple sessions and such training was a component of their contract with the county. TruTouch’s CEO, Richard Gill, added, “On checking our records, it seems BCSO failed to follow up on the several TruTouch solicitations to move forward.” And that TruTouch’s invoice was paid in full by the County upon satisfaction of all of its elements. (Albuquerque Journal, 3/9/11)

On March 15, 2011, the Albuquerque Journal, reported that the NM DOT bought six TruTouch machines for $78,000 and that the machines were working fine and were deployed at different offices throughout the state. On June 30, 2011 AG King sent White and Wilson letters requesting to be interviewed with respect to their involvement with the funding and alleged use of the TruTouch 1800BC machines.  Since then, the story over White’s involvement with TruTouch has all but disappeared.

Given White’s endless promotion of how their product was to “revolutionize” DWI investigations, how BCSO was a pilot agency leading to evidentiary certification of the machines and thus national sales for TruTouch to law enforcement agencies across the country, and given White’s status as BCSO’s leader and his note stating:

“The Sheriff…will oversee the project and expenditure of grant funds and submit all necessary reports to the proper agencies.”—Darren P. White, 2/19/08.

How is it even a plausible consideration White failed to pursue the use of these machines?

When confronted with the unused machines, White asserted that TruTouch simply failed to train BCSO how to use the units.  With so much hype surrounding the machine’s effectiveness, with so much at stake involving DWI enforcement (remember this is in the aftermath of the drunk driver, Papst, murdering an entire family), with so much public money invested in a sole company where corporate leaders illegally contributed to his federal campaign during the time he states they wouldn’t communicate with him, with TruTouch at the threshold of national sales, we are supposed to believe Darren White?

Obviously, there is a bigger issue here.  Bernalillo County paid over $126,500 per TruTouch machine, whereas, NM DOT paid about $13,000 per unit.  And while TruTouch has continued to move forward with their products, they have yet to make an entry into the law enforcement field and primarily rely on sales to employers who use the units to make sure employees are not drunk at work.  But TruTouch’s sister company Lumidigm has had stunning growth.  They have recently sold 12,000 scanners to the Brazilian market and have about a 30-percent growth in sales revenue each year since 2006. (Albuquerque Journal, 7/2/12).

 How big of an issue is White’s involvement with TruTouch we wonder?  Is it enough to jeopardize the multi-million dollar and national security oriented business of Lumidigm?  Why would White obviously lie about his relationship with TruTouch?  It seems in the fall of 2009 we had an opportunity to find out.  White was called as a defense witness for Brad Ahrensfield and was expected to testify in support of Ahrensfield by confirming Ahrensfield had not provided information to Car Shop owner and alleged target, Shawn Bryan.  Yet, upon taking the stand, White reversed himself from previous representations and stated he did not know Bryan and certainly had no knowledge that would be in support of Ahrensfield.  Former APD Officer, Ahrensfield, was being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney, Tera Neda.  Why does this matter?

Ms. Neda’s husband is Dr. Robert Rowe, Chief Technology Officer for Lumidigm and patent holder of technology used by Lumidigm and TruTouch.  The facts appear to support that Ahrensfield’s case seems to be a collateral issue involving White, Rowe, TruTouch, and Lumidigm.  If White were to be truthful regarding his friendship with Bryan, would he not jeopardize all of the business interests of Lumidigm and TruTouch and mire both companies in scandal?  Because Ms. Neda had a vested interest, via her husband, and her husband had direct financial interests in a witness adversarial to her case, should she have recused herself?  Would this have been a huge conflict of interest?  Did White commit perjury on the stand or was he “influenced” by the relationship with Dr. Rowe?  Why didn't Tera Neda disclose this conflict of interest to the courts and/or the defense?

Clearly, there are major issues involving all of these parties that go beyond the scale and jurisdiction of local or state law enforcement.  It appears there is fraudulent use of federal funds, false applications for grants, misrepresentation to investigators, and malfeasance by public officials.  While AG King initiated an inquiry into this matter with Heather Wilson and Darren White, it seems that investigation has gone nowhere. “Nowhere” is sadly becoming the standard location of holding people in power in New Mexico accountable.  Since the "G-boys" were quick to go after a cop; let's see how fast they are to go after one of their own.  We have done all the work for them short of prosecution...

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm in today's paper there's a story about an AUSA's husband caught up in a gun trafficking case. Sure seems likely there could've been some witness tampering or intimidation going on with the Neda-Rowe-White connection..at the very least a conflict of interest.

S.Sgt. Paul J. Heh (RET.) said...

This has to stop. New Mexico and Albuquerque are wonderful places to be a part of, that is until the politicians get involved. Why has A.G. Gary King not conducted a Tru-touch investigation concerning Darren White ? Why is it that everytime a politician is accused of wrong doing the media doesn't report it, or if they do it is a one day story. Why are investigations never completed . We are all so involved in our lives that we all drink the cool aide and think nothing can be done. Like the county song states " IF YOU DON'T STAND FOR SOMETHING YOU WILL FALL FOR ANYTHING." We have to stand up and demand answers from our elected officals. Democrate or Republican they work for us and better understrand we want honest answers . Not cool-aide. We are not stupid. So Gov. Martinez, So A.G. King what do you intend to do about this situation ? Media are you going to report on this story and dig until you have answers ? Lives have been ruined in the case involving Arensfield and Bryan. F.B.I. There is no shame in admitting you knew nothing about this and stepping up and reinvestigating . I was a Police Officer for 30 plus years. I made mistakes but always tried to correct them. in one case Tera Neda was the A.U.S.A. where the defendant was convicted of growing marijuana, and went to Federal Prison. New information was obtained by me after the fact that showed the defendant may not be guilty. I approched Tera Neda with this new information and the defendant was released from prison. There is nothing wrong with admitting you made a mistake or new information my show someone my not be guilty. How can anyone live with the fact they have sent an inocent person to prison ? If the answer is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ I hope you 30 pices of silver are worth it.

Anonymous said...

Holy Cripes! If this isn't a downright conflict of interest and nasty tangled web, I don't know what is. Looks like Brad's case should get tossed in the least. At most, a few people need to be looked at criminally after he is exonerated.

Anonymous said...

This article drives home the point that information is power. Let these criminals retire and play golf while awaiting the feds to take them all to jail. Hate to tell you fellas, retiring might save your pension, but it's going to be hell spending it from prison.

Anonymous said...

How is it that the EYE finds these things, but criminal investigators are blind to it and the media makes it evident that they turn a blind eye to it. Looks like the journal was scooped again. No suprise there.

Anonymous said...

Eye almighty Eye.... You are kicking the piss out of these corrupt blood sucking cockroach perverts every single day.
Thank You!

Anonymous said...

You gotta be fucking kidding me ?

Anonymous said...

Hey KEN WALZ, yeah you you snivveling loser of an editor. How is it your worthless paper gets all these transparency awards yet in reality you do very little investigative work. especially when Republicans like Berry or Martinez are on the hook for things AS WORSE as Richardson. where in the journalists book of ethics does it say Republicans get a break? Where is that KEN???

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard about the latest scandel between one of apd's finest and his wife?

Anonymous said...

S Lopez you looked like a total ass on TV and the APD Bait Cars. They are not yours and a 16 will be meeting YOU. Really? YOU or how about an APD Detectve who does all the work? I hope that reporter has enough sense to know that you were hitting on her and you are a horse face LOOSER.

Anonymous said...

Didn't the Journal already report all this?

Anonymous said...

White talks out of both sides of his mouth like a serpent. On the one hand he's soliciting and taking cash from TruTouch and on the other hand he doesn't hear from them about traing. And this guy is running the NM Expo Casino!?!? What the FUCK?!!?

Anonymous said...

I agree that these idiots need to be held accountable. Paul, As far as Brad is concerned, no one told him to get involved with Shawn Bryants problems. Blame APD all you want. Brad screwed up and now has to pay his dues. He needs to learn to keep his mouth closed. I wish him the best

Anonymous said...

The journal reported on Richardson s involvement with trutouch and Darren's. Nobody connected Tara nadas husband to brads case except for Darren and Tera nada. Tara nada manipulated Darren's involvement throughout the trial since having him busted for purgary would be bad buisiness for her husbands company. Brad was tried and convicted for actions that Darren actually committed and Tara nada made sure brad went down for it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Buchner did you really think your secrets would go away? Remember your words "yes I was at a bar b q on sept 11 and these detectives were discussing a residential burglary I found interesting" hmmm you little pussy this shit is not going away and you will be held accountable for what you did. Hopefully the Feds will look into this and back there way all the way up to you. :) have a nice day you spineless lying piece of shit.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Ahrensfield, I don't get it. If A tells B and B tells C and C tells D, why does C get tagged? Seems like B shd be tagged because if not for him nothing happens. Oh right, B is Olivas so Schultz covers for him despite the cigars, lunches, suits, drinks, and....

Anonymous said...

So 7:02, As far as Brad is concerned, no one told him to get involved with Shawn Bryants problems. Blame APD all you want. Brad screwed up and now has to pay his dues,,,,Well someone did tell Ron Olivas not to tell Brad about the investigation he was part of, matter of fact he was ordered by Lt Shawn Occonnel just 1 hour prior-not to tell Brad! Then what do you know? He drove right to his house and told him anyway! Had Ron Olivas learned to keep his mouth shut like he was sworn and ordered to do, we would not even be talking about this! But was Olivas sitting next to Brad? No!
The FBI was told on a taped interview that the info that Brad gave Shawn Bryan was vague and all the details that Bryan received he got from Darren via his future wifes (Cathy) cell phone, who was texting Erica Bryan minute by minute details. Shawn Bryan asked the Feds to take her cell phone and everything he was telling them was right there (its all on tape)!
Why didnt the Feds get the phone or Darrens girlfriends phone to validate the info?
Why didnt the Feds interview Cathy or Erica Bryan?
Why didnt the Feds do any investigation into what turned out to be the only taped interview of the entire investigation?
Why didnt the Feds turn that taped interview over to the defense prior to the trial or even advise the defense it existed?
Could it be that if the Defense started asking these very questions the FBI Agents would have to say,,we wanted too, but the AUSA told us to leave it alone!
So 7:02, if Brad did something wrong and has to pay his dues, what about everyone else?

only mortal said...

Why is it these fuck'n names keep coming up!?!?! Buckner, Olivas, White, and Feist. NOT as agents of good but as people in the middle of some hinky shit going on!?! Every ten days some new bullshit comes out about another Apd misconduct/criminal incident beyond belief. Yet Apd leaders escape scrutiny once again. Makes zero sense, and leads me to think there is indeed some dark shit going on. Let 2013 be the year of sunlight and bring these fuckers down. With so many rats leaving the ship I'm sure somebody is already talkin.....

only mortal said...

...And OcConnell.

MrWolf said...

RJ Berry, Rob Perry, Ray Schultz, Paul Feist, Allen Banks, Kathy Levy....these are the names of the leaders of the City of Albuquerque and APD who have FAILED the citizens in every respect. May fate come for you.

Anonymous said...

Fools,,,,,you don't even know the truth,,but you act as though you do, as of this morning,,,some reputations will be restored as the truth unfolds,others will now be exposed, sorry Buckner,times up we guess,,,,

Anonymous said...

Thank You Eye. Thank You for shining the truth on the dirty administration. Now the citizens will have the truth, and the filthy liars will be exposed. The investigations where the administration has covered up for their buddies will be exposed, and the investigations where officers were framed, set up for doing their jobs and used as distractions will come to light.

Thank You DOJ for stepping up. Please put such scrutiny on these liars that they all crack. Put the liars in jail. Today is a good day. Teach them that lying to the DOJ and trying to use the DOJ to do their dirty work will not be accepted.

Finally!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

i have lurked but been a follower of the eye ever since the red-light cameras were an issues. i can't help but think this site is supremely influential. for better or for worse, i have to agree with other posters that somehow or another this site has touched a very raw nerve.

and touching a raw nerve is what makes us Americans.

Anonymous said...

Another thing that makes us Americans is overthrowing these hypocrit corrupt scum at the top of the PD and city and throwing them out the door.

Anonymous said...

But taking money from CORRUPT COUNTY SHERIFF's and putting people in jail as a distraction is NOT AMERICAN!!!