ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico sheriff arrested earlier this year is now facing even more charges. You may remember video back in March when Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan showed up to an Española Police SWAT scene and tried to take over the investigation.
The suspect at the center of that scene was Lujan’s friend, Phillip Chacon. Española officers said the sheriff smelled of alcohol.
Then in May, when police showed up to the sheriff’s office to serve a search warrant on his phone, Lujan refused to unlock it. Lujan is facing charges of obstructing an officer for both incidents. Now, he has been slapped with new charges, for an incident three years ago involving that very same suspect, Phillip Chacon.
According to court documents, Lujan tried to protect Chacon from police in March of 2017, after Chacon led officers on a harrowing high-speed chase. The complaint alleges Sheriff Lujan picked Chacon up from his home to help him avoid arrest, and instructed one of his deputies not to tell anyone what he had done.
Lujan now faces charges of bribery and harboring a felon. He is out of jail on his own recognizance.
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