FARMINGTON — The man accused of conspiring to commit a murder Wednesday night said he was scared for his life so he was plotting an assassination before he was targeted, according to police.

Justin Dedios, 24, was arrested by the Farmington Police Department Swat Team at a room at the Anasazi Inn, 903 W. Main St., late Wednesday night. Three other people were also taken into custody with Dedios.

One of the three people, Gabriel Gonzalez, 26, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. The two other people have not been charged with a crime, according to court documents.

Dedios was allegedly waiting in the hotel for a person to return to the room with a gun that Dedios was planning to use to shoot and kill Scott Thompson, a 27-year-old man who lives on San Juan Place in Farmington, according to court documents.

At 10 p.m. Wednesday, a person notified Farmington police and said Dedios was planning a homicide. Police did not disclose the person's identity in court documents. The gang unit contacted the person, who had driven around Farmington with Dedios that day. The person told police that Dedios had pointed out Thompson's house and said he was going to shoot him at his home later that night, according to court documents.

To prove someone conspired to commit murder, the state has to prove a defendant has entered an agreement to commit a murder and taken steps to make the crime happened, said San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien.

"Just saying it isn't going to be enough to get us to take action," O'Brien said. "When you say it and take steps to make it happen and have others helping you take steps, it's going beyond the verbal statements."

Police said they are not sure why Dedios was scared and plotting to shoot Thompson. According to court documents, Dedios made references to the Animas Valley Mall shooting on April 27 when talking to people about his plans, but police didn't provide any additional details about how Dedios or Thompson may have been connected to the mall shooting.

Johnny "Ben-G" Vialpando, 25, was shot and killed April 27 while he was in a parked car at the mall with his wife and children.

Alejandro Ramirez, 22, and Luis Ramirez, 28, have been arrested in connection to Vialpando's death. Police said Alejandro Ramirez shot Johnny Vialpando, and Luis Ramirez was the getaway driver. Both brothers have been charged with an open count of murder and other charges.

Police said they learned Dedios was planning a homicide the same day that Luis Ramirez had a preliminary hearing in Farmington that was tightly guarded by sheriff's deputies and police officers.

Rhiannon Vialpando, Johnny Vialpando's wife, said her husband didn't know either Dedios or Thompson.

"I've never heard those names before in my life," said Rhiannon Vialpando. "These people have nothing to do with my husband."

She said her husband was involved with gang members when he was a teenager but as an adult he was outspoken against gangs.

"He hated the gang life," Rhiannon Vialpando said.

She said he was working for Triple S Trucking and was financially successful.

"We were a perfect family. We were successful," she said. "We had so many plans. We weren't just getting by. We were going to buy a house. Now, it's all gone."


Ryan Boetel can be reached at; 505-564-4644. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel.