Search warrant ‘corroborates’ allegations in Tierra Blanca Ranch case

Posted at: 10/14/2013 6:41 PM
Updated at: 11/11/2015 3:28 PM
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Tierra Blanca Ranch owner Scott Chandler
Tierra Blanca Ranch owner Scott Chandler

Although authorities remain relatively tight-lipped about the on-going investigation of Tierra Blanca Ranch, Governor Susana Martinez said there’s a growing case against ranch owner Scott Chandler.

"The search warrant revealed evidence that I cannot tell you precisely what it was, but did corroborate some of the allegations of some of those boys,” she said.

New Mexico State Police served the warrant Friday morning, less than 12 hours after 4 On Your Side first uncovered the allegations.

According to Chandler’s attorney, he reunited the boys with their families – who live in 5 different states.

Chandler is still missing.  Gorden Eden, the secretary of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, said local and state officers don’t have any idea where Chandler may be.

Eden said that officers cannot trace Chandler’s whereabouts since they do not have a search warrant allowing them to do so.  He said Chandler is merely a person of interest and is not criminally charged.

Chandler’s attorney, Pete Domenici, Jr., issued a statement to 4 On Your Side on Monday:

“As stated previously, all Tierra Blanca Ranch youth are safely with family and have never been at risk. Scott Chandler made himself available to the New Mexico State Police prior to the unnecessary escalation of this situation by the State Police and CYFD. I have advised him not to make direct contact with the New Mexico State Police.”

Regardless of what Chandler’s defense team said, Governor Martinez – a former prosecutor – questioned Chandler’s actions over the weekend.

“When you have access to children who are witnesses, for that number of hours, and could be witnesses against you, the possibility of being coerced into giving false statements grows,” she said.