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Ryan Lowery is an award-winning independent journalist whose work has been published by the Associated Press, Santa Fe Reporter, Santa Fe New Mexican, Idaho Business Review, and many others. He also regularly covers crime, criminal justice and investigative stories for the Las Vegas Optic.

 

Featured Stories

 

One Way Out: July homicide tied to violent New Mexico prison gang
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A car horn disrupted the quiet July evening. Then came the gunshots. Three bullets that killed Leroy “Smurf” Lucero, leaving his wife without a husband, and his four children without their father. His violent death also shifted the focus of a nearly five-year-long FBI investigation to Las Vegas. Read more here: LasVegasOptic.com


Sold for Sex
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Sex trafficking plagues New Mexico women; however, because there’s no uniform definition of the crime, a lot of it goes undetected. Read more: SFReporter.com


Piecing it together: Picture of June homicide takes shape as DA continues investigation
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Early one June morning, 24-year-old Jordan Sisneros watched 27-year-old Cruz Gallegos die. After he was shot, the gun was turned on gun on her. To date, only one of the several people in that Las Vegas home on June 15, 2019, have been charged. Read more here: LasVegasOptic.com


Smoking Gun: Man ID’d in 2018 deadly shooting remains free
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Jeromy “Joker” Vasquez was shot and killed in Las Vegas, New Mexico, in January of 2018. Multiple law enforcement agencies say a convicted felon named Albert Herrera is the man who shot Vasquez, and Las Vegas Police know that Herrera tossed the gun out a window of a vehicle. The FBI says Herrera is a felon who was on probation, in part for a firearms violation, and yet, there is no record Herrera was detained, arrested or questioned further. Read more here: LasVegasOptic.com

Ongoing Series

 

Breaking Down Barriers
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In February 2020, the Las Vegas Optic launched an ongoing series on drug and alcohol addiction in the New Mexico counties of San Miguel and Mora. The series explores the roots of addiction, what’s being done about it, and it looks at how other communities are addressing addiction. See stories by Ryan Lowery here.


Decriminalizing Addiction
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Many people in America are jailed for crimes driven by addiction, but Alamosa, Colorado, is taking a different approach by focusing on treatment, not jail. See the stories by Ryan Lowery here.

News Features

 

Public art fosters “creative class” community downtown
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Public art installations add to Boise’s existing, established downtown art scene, but the city’s growing artwork collection gives the public even more reason to spend time downtown. Read more here: IdahoBusinessReview.com


Poisoning of birds highlights dangers of lead in bullets

Some, like veterinarian Dr. Douglas Thal, are calling for hunters to use non-lead ammunition to help stop wildlife from being poisoned. Read more here: apews.com


Las Vegas, N.M., gas stations offer return to simpler times

Motorists in Las Vegas, New Mexico can still find the full-service treatment. Read more here: SantaFeNewMexican.com


Refreshing history: Restoration renews former Harvey Girls dorm

This former “Harvey Girls” dormitory in Las Vegas, NM will soon have rooms for rent once more. The building’s owners have given new life to this historic building rich with history. Read more here: LasVegasOptic.com