New Mexico Pols In Stripper Blackmail Scandal

There’s some really odd things going on in New Mexico:

Two city officials in Sunland Park, New Mexico were arrested on extortion charges after they allegedly tried to blackmail a political opponent by sending a stripper to his office and secretly videotaping the encounter.

Sunland Park Mayor Pro Tem Daniel Salinas and City Manager Jaime Aguilera were arrested Saturday and charged with extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, evidence tampering, and conspiracy to commit evidence tampering, all third or fourth-degree felonies.

They are each being held on $50,000 bonds, and are scheduled for an arraignment Monday. If convicted, they each face up to 7.5 years in prison.

Gerardo Hernandez, a candidate for mayor against Salinas, claims that Salinas hired a topless woman to come into his office and dance for him — “as any gentleman would know, it was a lap dance,” Hernandez said of the incident — secretly filmed it, then tried to use the tape to blackmail Hernandez into dropping out of the race.

Hernandez says he was approached by a man who “said, ‘We have a video of you and we’re going to release it if you don’t withdraw from the race.’ And I said, ‘Well, you can release it, because I’m not going to withdraw from the race.'”

Authorities raided city hall last week and, according to an arrest affidavit, found the video on Aguilera’s computer — and that it was being worked on with editing software. The video had been put on his computer on February 15, according to authorities, a day before the alleged extortion attempt occurred.

No word on what happened to the topless woman.

FILED UNDER: US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Forget Utah, I’m heading for New Mexico!

  2. michael reynolds says:

    My first thought was, who’d go to that much trouble to mayor of some little sh–hole town?

    Then I noticed it’s right on the border, so there’s money to be made.

  3. legion says:

    I can see the headlines now…

  4. Franklin says:

    New Mexico Pols In Stripper Blackmail Scandal

    Well you know what they say about strippers and poles. (Oh, you said “Pols” … nevermind.)

  5. de stijl says:

    You gotta figure that Salinas and Aguilera were major-league, William Holden-style effed up when they hatched this scheme. I’ve A good friend of mine has been involved in ‘shroom induced shenanigans that made more sense.

  6. Eric says:


  7. @legion:

    If only The New York Post had a New Mexico edition.

  8. John Burgess says:

    I’m reminded of a story — perhaps apocryphal — of Indonesian PM Sukarno back in the 1960s. He was photographed in flagrante with his mistress of the moment by the KGB. They tried to shake him down into some sort of agreement with the USSR by showing him an array of his action shots.

    Sukarno, it’s said, mulled over the pictures, pushing them around his desk. He finally picked up six of them and asked if he could have enlarged copies.

  9. 11B40 says:


    Forgive me, but I can’t help but wonder if the Mayor Pro Tem and the City Manager were members of any political party. Perhaps the Party Not to Be Named ???