Published: 12:00 pm, Tue. Nov. 21st, 2017Updated: 11:59 am
The Roswell Police Department has arrested one of its recruit officers following a two-week investigation that resulted in charges of two counts of child solicitation by electronic communication device.
Alonso Barrientos, 25, was arrested Friday at his home and booked into the Chaves County Detention Center.
On Nov. 2, the RPD received information from a middle school teacher regarding accusations made by students. Roswell police began an investigation, and Barrientos was placed on administrative leave that day. His employment with RPD was terminated Friday, the day of his arrest.
After working for the department as a police service aide for nearly two-and-a-half years, Barrientos was training to become a police officer. He was in the early stages of his training, with the title of recruit officer on probationary employment status.
The victim of the alleged crime is believed to be a boy in his early teens, to whom Barrientos is accused of sending text messages and images of a sexual nature. The inappropriate communications are alleged to have been sent from Barrientos’ personal cell phone.
During the investigation, the investigating detective uncovered evidence that led to a second similar criminal charge involving a separate victim believed to be a juvenile boy, who claimed in electronic communications with Barrientos to be in his early teens. In his communications with the second boy, Barrientos claimed to be 17 years old, investigators believe.
“I am disgusted with this recruit’s behavior,” said RPD Chief Philip Smith. “I want to assure the Roswell community this criminal act was addressed immediately, the recruit was removed from service and the criminal investigation was initiated.
“It matters not who the individual is, the Roswell Police Department holds all accountable and those who are employed by the Roswell Police Department are held to the highest levels of accountability. The scales of justice are blind and fair, and the Roswell Police Department’s standard is to always seek fair and unbiased justice as we serve and protect our community.”
The investigation has also led detectives to believe there may be additional victims. The RPD encourages anyone who may know a potential victim to contact Det. Michael Burkowski at 624-6770.