New Mexico issues Top 10 unlicensed contractors list

A New Mexico agency has released a “Top 10 List” of unlicensed contractors who have worked in the state. The fraud is considered a fourth-degree offense there and could land an offender in prison and result in a hefty fine.

Charmaine Jackson-John, public information officer for the Construction Industries Division of the state’s Regulation and Licensing Bureau, which issued the list, said four of the unlicensed contractors have either gone to court or been arrested since the list was release in late June. She said unlicensed contracting is one of the state’s top problems.

“The attorney general’s office has received numerous calls about the contractors on the list,” she said. “I think we’re going to do this every year.”

The following contractors were listed respectively:

  1. Gary B. Mares, owner of Los Patios Landscaping and Landscape Designs in Albuquerque, has up to $125,000 in damage claims.
  2. Richard Blaney, owner of Superior Sheds & Garages in Albuquerque, has up to $100,000 in damage claims.
  3. Amos Romero of Las Vegas has up to $80,000 to $100,000 in damage claims.
  4. Mark Berent, owner and president of TrustMark/Danastar Unlimited in Albuquerque, was paid $75,000 for construction work at a church but has not completed the project nor does he have a contractor’s license filed with the state.
  5. Steve D. Montoya, owner of S-M Carpet & Vinyl, Precision Construction Services and Precision Tile in Albuquerque, has approximately 12 criminal complaints and up to $75,000 in damage claims.
  6. Robert Martinez of Moriarty has approximately five criminal complaints and up to $40,000 in damage claims.
  7. Michael Salazar, owner of M & J Custom Cabinets in Albuquerque, has five criminal complaints and owes up to $12,000 in restitution payments to victims for unlicensed contracting work.
  8. Ralph R. Candeleria of Los Lunas has approximately $10,000 in damage claims.
  9. Arthur Castillo of Portales has approximately $7,500 in damage claims.
  10. Kerre Petree of Clovis has approximately $5,000 in claims for damages filed against him by victims.