LAWSUIT: New Mexico State Police hands out concealed carry permits to felons

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – They’re supposed to enforce the law but a former New Mexico State Police officer says that’s not always the case. He claims some people in the department have been doing favors for convicted felons, and now he’s suing.

In the lawsuit, the ex-cop claims state police not only knew but allowed convicted felons to have concealed carry permits. “It was a large number of people that were getting these when they shouldn’t have. The department knew about it, and facilitating that type of illegal action,” says attorney, Blair Dunn.

Dunn is the attorney for former State Police Officer Saul Canizales. Dunn says the department received a tip about convicted felons having access to concealed carry permits. When Canizales was assigned the case, he says he discovered his own department was behind it.

However, Dunn was not able to explain to us Monday exactly how or why the department allowed felons to allegedly have those permits. Dunn did say when Canizales brought it up to his superiors, one of them being current Chief Tim Johnson, he was told to stop his investigation.

“He was told, no take that out of your report. You don’t talk about it. You need to not say anything about that. That’ll make the department look bad. We’re going to cover this up,” says Dunn.

The lawsuit also says once Canizales discovered what the department was doing, that’s when his life at work got a lot worse. Dunn says Canizales was written up for petty things like taking a lunch break in his police unit.

It got so bad, Dunn says Canizales left the department for good last year. With this lawsuit, Canizales wants state police to own up to its faults and be transparent with the taxpayers. New Mexico State Police would not comment on the pending lawsuit.


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