Former Rio Arriba Co. sheriff pleads no contest in second case

Crime

ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – Former Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan has pleaded no contest in another case. Authorities say Lujan showed up drunk at a crime scene involving his friend, former Española City Councilor Phil Chacon.

He was charged with resisting, evading, or obstructing an officer. On Wednesday, Dec. 29, Lujan pleaded no contest to those charges rather than going on trial.

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“On the misdemeanor, I could have tried it. I feel pretty confident we would have convicted him on it but it would have been a lot of money for the taxpayers,” said Ninth Judicial District Attorney Andrea Reeb.

Lujan was sentenced to 364 days on these charges. He’s already serving three years in prison after being convicted of helping Chacon hideout from Española Police in 2017 after Chacon was involved in a chase with authorities.

Lujan resigned as sheriff shortly after his conviction.

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