ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office deputy was caught on camera making troubling comments about election rigging. It seemed like a routine traffic stop and arrest when a Bernalillo county deputy started chit-chatting with the suspect on the way to jail, about the recent election.

Trujillo: How do you like the city?

Deputy: Albuquerque? Dude, I really like New Mexico. I just think all of the liberal politics are starting to get in the way of growth here.

Trujillo: Right.

Trujillo: What do you think about these elections? You think they’re rigged?

Deputy: Yes.

Trujillo: All of ’em, huh?

Deputy: 100 percent.

Trujillo: You really think they overthrew Trump?

Deputy: I’m not sure, dude.

Under typical circumstances, the public probably never would have heard that recording from the lapel camera of Deputy Skroch. However, a KRQE News 13 investigation ran a clip of it in January 2023, after the suspect in question, Jose Trujillo, was tied to a conspiracy targeting elected officials.

Investigators believe Trujillo was hired to shoot up officials’ homes, by Solomon Pena – a failed republican candidate for the state house who spread false claims of election fraud. In fact, police believe Trujillo had just committed one of those shootings when he was pulled over and arrested for having drugs and guns in his car.

The conversation continues as the deputy says, “I can’t elaborate too much because I’m in uniform, so I can’t give my opinion like that.” But after that, the deputy continues to talk about election conspiracy theories with Trujillo.

That conversation raised enough concern among county officials, the Sheriff’s Office Advisory and Review Board (SOARB) called the sheriff in to address the issue. On Friday, Mar. 10, the sheriff acknowledged a deputy spreading claims of election rigging was concerning, but suggested people should consider the context.

Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen of the SOARB said, “[The] Comments [and] just the context of what the conversation was. Was this a ploy or tactic to build investigative rapport, we don’t know.”

Even so, the Sheriff said that as law enforcement, deputies should conduct themselves more professionally. “Anybody can have their own view anybody can have their own opinion but that’s why we have in our standard operating procedures and in the professionalism clause you aren’t to discuss politics and you’ll stay out of this,” said Sheriff Allen.

Friday’s meeting was just to discuss the issue, not to take any action. Sheriff Allen tells KRQE News 13, he has now talked to his department about avoiding political conversations in the field.