Second warrant out for planner of ‘Bobby Bash’
A judge in New Mexico on Wednesday issued a second arrest warrant in a month for the man who promoted last year’s failed Bobby’s Birthday Bash in Mesa County, while police say an ongoing investigation may yield more charges against fugitive Bobby Willis.
The 40-year-old, last known a resident of Branson, Mo., is wanted on fresh charges for allegedly embezzling a little more than $5 million in precious gemstones and jewelry, according to the Farmington Police Department.
Farmington detective Russ Bradford said a business associate allegedly gave Willis gems and jewelry in November 2011 for “safe keeping,” while Willis refused to return the property when requested three months later. Bradford said Willis explained to the owner the valuables were invested in a proposed multi billion-dollar hospital construction project in Kirtland, N.M. The project never materialized.
Willis has been wanted since Aug. 3, when another warrant issued accusing Willis of racketeering, embezzlement, fraud and securities fraud relating to the alleged theft of escrow dollars from customer accounts at a Farmington, N.M.-based title company owned by Willis. An arrest warrant alleges customer funds were used for, among other purposes, the purchase of a $132,000 executive suite at Denver Broncos football games.
New Mexico regulators who seized Willis’ title company in February reportedly found a pool table, refrigerated kegs and an ornate bar inside the business.
Willis and his wife, Carrie, had been living in Branson, but police couldn’t find the couple last month at their home when called there for a welfare check, according to an affidavit. They instead found numerous firearms and cell phones, including assault rifles which appeared to officers to be “strategically placed” around the home, the affidavit said.
Willis in May 2011 provided no explanation when he canceled plans for Bobby’s Birthday Bash, a country music festival approved by Mesa County commissioners to be held at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.
Bradford said anybody with information on Willis’ whereabouts can call Farmington police at (505) 566-2340 or Farmington Crime Stoppers at (505) 334-8477.