The investigation into a failed New Mexico political candidate and a series of shootings has expanded, with officials now seeking to determine whether the suspect’s campaign contributions were funneled into drug trafficking, police said.

Republican Salomón Peña is accused of conspiring and paying four men to carry out shootings at the Albuquerque-area homes of two Bernalillo County commissioners and two state legislators, Albuquerque police said. No one was injured in the shootings, which involved Democratic elected officials.

Peña, who has been called an «election denier,» was arrested Monday. He is accused of paying four men in cash and texting them the addresses he wanted to target, Albuquerque police said.

Pena lost his House race in November, and anger over that may have motivated the attacks, police said. Peña has claimed that his defeat was the result of electoral fraud, but the accusations are unfounded.

He lost overwhelmingly to incumbent House Democrat Miguel P. Garcia, 5,679 to 2,033, or 74% to 26%.

Pena’s attorney was not immediately contacted Friday.

Albuquerque Police on Thursday said that Detectives and other law enforcement agencies are trying to determine whether financial contributions to Pena’s campaign «were generated from narcotics trafficking and whether campaign laws were violated.»

Peña is the only person who has been charged in the series of shootings.

But a man police have said was allegedly involved, Jose Trujillo, donated more than $5,000 to Peña’s campaign and that man’s mother also donated about $4,000 to the campaign, authorities said. His donations account for nearly 40% of the money Peña raised during his campaign, police said.

Trujillo is listed as a teller in Peña’s campaign reports.

At least eight shots were fired at the home of state Sen. Linda Lopez on Jan. 3, the same night Trujillo was arrested on a felony warrant, police said.

Trujillo was pulled over in a car registered to Peña, police said.

“The officer identified two firearms, multiple ammunition magazines, 893 fentanyl pills packaged in small baggies, and $3,036 in cash,” police said. “One of the weapons was later related to the shooting at the home of Senator Lopez. The officer concluded that the weapons, drugs, and cash were consistent with narcotics trafficking. Trujillo was booked on January 3, 2023 on the outstanding warrant for his arrest, as well as a new narcotics trafficking charge.”

An attorney listed for Trujillo in a federal complaint did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.

Peña is in custody, awaiting a hearing on January 23. Prosecutors have called him a danger to the community and said he should not be released before trial.

The first shooting occurred on December 4 at the home of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa. In the following days, a shooting occurred in front of the house of the new president of the state Chamber, Javier Martínez. On December 11, the home of then-Bernalillo Commissioner Debbie O’Malley was hit by more than a dozen bullets, police said.

López’s home was attacked in early January and three bullets tore through her 10-year-old daughter’s bedroom. Nobody was hurt.