Skip to main content

APD charges gang member, two others for January murder

APD charges gang member, two others for January murder

April 14, 2022

Alleged conspirator was highlighted by Chief Medina for recent shooting at Walmart


ALBUQUERQUE -- APD detectives filed murder charges for three people in connection with the Jan. 28, 2022, shooting death during a robbery. Anjel Varela, 30, was killed during a drug transaction in a vehicle at the Skyline apartments, located at 1200 Louisiana Blvd. N.E.


The alleged shooter, Bobby Lopez, is a documented member of the Los Padillas gang. He is currently incarcerated at the Metro Detention Center on other charges. Lopez, 27, is now charged with an open count of murder, robbery and conspiracy for the killing of Varela.


The woman who allegedly set up the robbery that led to the shooting is Brianna Garcia, who is currently in jail in Oklahoma. APD Chief Harold Medina drew attention to Garcia in February because she was a suspect in a series of shootings at local Walmart stores. Chief Medina was making the case in February, during the legislative session, that robbery offenders armed with firearms should serve longer sentences in jail because they are a danger to the community.


“I didn’t know it at the time, but Brianna Garcia had already been involved in a robbery that resulted in a murder just days before,” Chief Medina said. “The Attorney General was already searching for her because of her involvement in armed robberies. This is why we need tougher penalties for offenders who use firearms to commit their crimes.”


Garcia, 23, is also charged with an open count of murder, robbery and conspiracy.


Analysts with APD’s Digital Intelligence Unit used phone and social media records to help build a case and corroborate details learned by detectives.


APD homicide detectives also filed an arrest warrant for Garcia’s girlfriend, Danielle Cordova, 31, who is being charged for her role in the murder. Cordova is now wanted on an open count of murder, robbery, and conspiracy.