Ace of Spades
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The Mark Inside

Sam, Tony Neis &
The Rocky Mountain Detectives.

Rocky Mountain Detective Association badge

The Rocky Mountain Detective Association, founded by David J. Cook, is referred to as the "first formal network of law enforcement officers" west of the Mississippi. They were in operation for thirty-five years.

Tony Neis was a part of the guard detail that brought Billy the Kid to his trial. In 1882 he was a deputy U.S. Marshal in New Mexico, and became the local head of the Rocky Mountain Detective Association. Neis wanted Sam to head the Albuquerque office, and Sam considered the offer, but appears to have turned it down, choosing to move to Prescott instead.

Late in 1882, Sam is back in Albuquerque running for constable against Con Caddigan and Tony Neis. Did Sam change his mind and go to work for the RMDA?


Albuquerque Morning Journal, May 4, 1882

Deputy United States Marshal Tony Neis, of Santa Fe is in the city on matters of business. "No news of importance at Santa Fe," was his answer to the inquiry of a reporter.


Albuquerque Morning Journal, May 11, 1882

The United States marshal for New Mexico will soon open a branch office in this city, with Sam Blonger as agent. He could not make a better selection for an officer.


Albuquerque Evening Review, May 11, 1882

The statement which appeared in this morning's Journal that Marshal Morrison had appointed Sam Blonger deputy marshal for New Albuquerque, is denied by Mr. Morrison, who states that he has not given the subject a moment's thought and that he is not even acquainted with Mr. Blonger. Major Werner is the only deputy appointed by Mr. Morrison, and the only one likely to be for some time. Evidently there is a falsehood somewhere, and it isn't with Marshal Morisson either.


Albuquerque Morning Journal, May 13, 1882

Mr. Tony Neis desires as to make a correction in regard to the appointment of his deputy at this place. We erroneously stated that Mr. Sam Blonger had received the appointment of deputy United States Marshal when it should have been agent of the detective force for this precinct.


Albuquerque Morning Journal, May 27, 1882

The Beautiful Badge Presented to Tony Neis.
Mr. Tony Neis, the well-known and efficient deputy United States Marshal, was presented last night with a beautiful gold badge by Marshal Sam Blonger. It is in the shape of a star with the inscription "Deputy U. S. Marshal, New Mexico." Above it is a solid gold eagle, bearing in its claws two slender chains of gold to which is suspended the star. It is a fitting emblem from a brother officer to one who is known to be faithful and efficient in the dischare of his duty, as well as a polite and sociable gentleman.


Albuquerque Morning Journal, June 8, 1882

Marshal Blonger is going to Santa Fe this morning. He has an eye on the deputy United States marshalship for this portion of New Mexico.


Albuquerque Morning Journal, August 22, 1882

Tony Neis talks of establishing the headquarters of the Rocky Mountain Detective Association in Albuquerque. He is now here making the preliminary arrangements.


Albuquerque Morning Journal, August 23, 1882

Tony Neis has already secured $150 to his subscription to assist him in establishing an agency of the Rocky Mountain Detective Association in this city. Sam Blonger is interested in the project, and will circulate the subscription to-day.


Albuquerque Morning Journal, August 26, 1882

Tony Neis, of the detective agency, has his office in the Harrison building.

Tony's Card.
As I intend locating permanently in Albuquerque for the purpose of organizing a detective agency I wish to state that the agents employed by me are fully competent and thoroughly versed in the business, and that I will personally be responsible for any of their acts while acting under my instructions. The agency here is in connection with that of Denver, and as heretofore I have given perfect satisfaction so will I in the future do my duty without fear or malice, nor will I show partiality to anyone. Trusting that my services will be appreciated by the law-abiding citizens of Albuquerque, I am respectfully,
Chief of the Rocky Mountain Detective agency for the Territory of New Mexico.


Albuquerque Morning Journal, September 16, 1882

Toney Neis and Lou Blonger went down the road last night.


Albuquerque Morning Journal, October 14, 1882

Tony Neis, who has been absent from this city for over two weeks, is expected to arrive this evening. He has been after several criminals, who are wanted in this city, and has been successful at capturing two of them.


Albuquerque Morning Journal, November 2, 1882

Albuquerque is the headquarters of the Rocky Mountain Detective Association in New Mexico, but Albuquerque still has robberies and crime. Tony Neis will have to bestir himself to sustain his reputation as a terror to evil doers. — [New Mexican.]


Albuquerque Morning Journal, November 3, 1882

And Still They Come.
To The Editor:
I fully endorse the sentiment of the last issue of The Journal in reference to the manner that affairs are conducted by those in power in Albuquerque. It has become a matter of comment throughout the whole country that the gang run the town. The communication of Santiago Baca has the true ring. The time has come when hold-ups and thieves must take a back seat. The experience of this country is the same as all new countries, the rough and cheeky scoundrels take precedence in the control of public affairs, and hold on until they are literally driven out by the better element of society. I trust the good work begun by the citizens of Albuquerque will be carried out to the utmost, and that they will not flag in their efforts until the gang are forced to retire and earn an honest livelihood.


Albuquerque Evening Review, November 4, 1882

Santiago Baca went out this morning, with quite a large crowd, on an electioneering trip. Among the party were Judge McComas, District Attorney Owen, Johnny Campbell, Lou Blonger, and a large number of Americans and Mexicans. The procession was headed by a black wagon drawn by four black horses, and a great many persons, seeing it from a distance, thought it was a funeral procession.


Albuquerque Morning Journal, November 5, 1882

I have been importuned by a large number of persons for appointment to places on the police force in case of my election. I have said to all such, and desire to say in this public manner to the people of the city, that my action shall be governed in all such cases by the wishes of the business men of Albuquerque. I shall not appoint any man to the office of city marshal who does not bring the endorsement of a majority of the merchants and business men of this cit, and shall not refuse to appoint any man who may come thus endorsed. The office of city marshal is one of great importance to the people of the city, and it shall be my aim to appoint only men as shall be recommended and endorsed by a majority of the people most interested.


Albuquerque Evening Review, November 7, 1882

Lou Blonger challenged two votes by mistake this morning, the men whom he had intended to challenge having already deposited their ballots.


Albuquerque Evening Review, December 12, 1882

W. H. Cline & Co. swore out a warrant last night for the arrest of Toney Neis, the well-known detective, on the charge of slander, it being claimed that he stated on the street that "Cline & Co." were running a bunko shop, and their business was swindling and that he would pull the establishment at the first opportunity. He was arrested by Con Caddigan and gave bonds for his appearance before Justice Sullivan.




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