Las Cruces Arson Arrest

Feb 29, 2012


A man suspected of starting at least one of the nine intentionally-set structure fires in Las Cruces’ Mesquite Historic District has been arrested.

Demmiso Manuel Reyes, 22, of 621 N. Mesquite St., is charged with one count of arson over $20,000. He is being held on a $40,000 cash-only bond at the Dona Ana County Detention Center.

Las Cruces fire and police investigators, along with officers from LCPD’s Special Services unit, worked together and discovered that Reyes started the Nov. 2, 2011, fire that destroyed a home at 605 N. Mesquite St. There were no injuries but the blaze completely destroyed the home and caused more than $30,000 in damages.

Investigators learned through an unrelated incident that Reyes was responsible for the Nov. 2 fire. Investigators are continuing to look into other suspicious fires in the Mesquite Historic District so specific details on how investigators determined Reyes set the Nov. 2 blaze are not being released at this time. Reyes resides just north of where the fire occurred.

An arrest warrant for Reyes was obtained and on Tuesday evening the Las Cruces Police Department’s SWAT and Hostage Negotiation teams went to his home. Reyes refused several demands to exit the home voluntarily and was detained when SWAT team members breached the house and located him near a back door. There were no injuries.

The Nov. 2 fire was one of nine intentionally-set blazes in the Mesquite Historic District since April 30, 2011. All of the fires were reported late in the evenings or during the early-morning hours. Fire and police investigators are continuing to examine evidence collected from the other eight fires and have not yet to determine if Reyes was responsible for any of them.

Anyone with additional information on the fires is asked to call Las Cruces Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or send a tip via text message to LCTIPS (528477).