Following arrest of Rio Arriba County sheriff, special prosecutor investigates undersheriff | KOB 4

Following arrest of Rio Arriba County sheriff, special prosecutor investigates undersheriff

Tommy Lopez
Updated: July 03, 2020 10:07 PM
Created: July 03, 2020 09:32 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The undersheriff of the Rio Arriba County Sheriff's Office is the subject of an investigation following the arrest of the county's sheriff.

The investigation is the result of a May 21st incident.


On that day, officers with two departments, the Española Police Department and Taos County Sheriff's Office, were attempting to serve a warrant for a cell phone. But they claimed Lujan resisted.

During the attempt to serve the warrant, Lujan's deputies arrived at the scene.

Video from the Northern New Mexico Independent shows the officers from the two other departments prepared for a confrontation.

They shout for the incoming deputies to stand down.

No weapons appeared to have been drawn, but eventually a Taos County deputy explains what he thinks happened.

"He told them to draw out their weapons on us," he said.

The deputy was referring to Undersheriff Martin Trujillo. He claims the undersheriff ordered his deputies to get their guns out when they arrived.

The video does not make it clear whether Trujillo actually gave that order. 

However, he did have a conversation with an Española police officer.

"We’re trying to do everything peacefully. We tried to. That’s all we’re doing. We’re done here. We’re leaving,” the officer said.

"OK. Then get out of here,” Trujillo responds. 

"We’ll leave when we’re ready,” the officer replies. "Why are you calling everyone here?”

"This is our house,” Trujillo said.

"Well, right now it’s ours," the officer responds.
A letter from the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office calls for an investigation and prosecution to see if Trujillo was “directing deputies to point weapons at officers."

District Attorney Andrea Reeb of Clovis has been appointed the special prosecutor in the case.

She told the Northern New Mexico Independent that she will be taking a “serious look” at Trujillo’s actions.

Reeb is also prosecuting the case against Sheriff Lujan.

The case stems from accusations that he interfered with criminal investigations, including helping a wanted suspect avoid arrest.

A Rio Arriba Sheriff’s Office spokesperson did not comment on the accusations Undersheriff Trujillo is facing.

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