Holy Cross lockdown defendant sentenced to prison after clash with jailers


Rafael Orozco, a 23-year-old man charged with three counts of aggravated assault and one count of receiving a stolen firearm in 2014, along with numerous other charges he has picked up since, has been sentenced to prison for allegedly assaulting and threatening to kill a jailer at the Taos County Adult Detention Center late last month.

According to an incident report, the defendant admitted to at least one of the infractions. He will spend just under a year at the New Mexico Department of Corrections, followed by one year of parole as his other cases are processed.

As Tim Hasson, a district attorney, and Ray Floersheim, a defense attorney, were working to resolve several of those cases, Orozco and his brother, Cristian Orozco – who joined his brother at the jail earlier this year – allegedly confronted a female jailer as she made her rounds early in the morning Sept. 28.

When the jailer entered the elder Orozco’s pod around 1 a.m., she writes in her report that the inmate threw a deck of cards at the door and refused to re-enter his cell. “[Expletive] no I’m not locking down you make me,” Orozco said, according to the report. The younger Orozco then came out of his cell to stand beside his brother, who was then threatening to harm the jailer. Other facility personnel arrived to provide support, when the Orozco brothers allegedly ran to a nearby utility closet and retrieved broom handles. The elder Orozco rushed the female jailer and struck her at least twice as she discharged pepper spray at both assailants. The report states that Rafael Orozco told her, “I’m going to smoke you” as the other jailers restrained the brothers and escorted them to the recreation yard. As they walked the yard together, Rafael Orozco allegedly told his brother that he planned to fashion a shank to use on the jailers once he returned to his cell.

Rafael Orozco

In the fall of 2016, Rafael Orozco was also accused of assaulting his girlfriend, newborn baby and a health care worker at Holy Cross Hospital, an event that garnered national attention. Orozco’s alleged crimes sparked a lockdown at the hospital, when he purportedly told a security guard that he was carrying a firearm. Orozco fled the facility and successfully evaded capture for three months before being taken into custody.

He was incarcerated in the Taos County Adult Detention Center, where he has since picked up a handful of other charges. The first came down less than one month into the defendant’s jail time, when he allegedly received a  delivery of Suboxone, a Schedule III controlled narcotic, and pulled a fire extinguisher off a wall, activating an alarm. Other charges may be filed as a result of last month’s event in the jail.

Deputy District Attorney Ron Olsen said the defendant will be transported to and from prison as needed as his cases are processed in district court.

As of press time, Orozco was scheduled to appear for a jury trial before Judge Sarah Backus on Dec. 18 for charges connected to last year’s alleged assault at Holy Cross Hospital.