Rio Arriba County Sheriff accused of being drunk, refusing to leave crime scene


NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A New Mexico sheriff is facing criminal charges after he’s accused of showing up drunk to a crime scene and refusing to leave.

According to a criminal complaint, Española Police were dealing with barricaded suspect Phillip Chacon on Saturday within city limits. Police say Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan showed up trying to take over the scene.

Witnesses say the sheriff smelled of alcohol and was swaying on his feet. Officers say he even went up to the house where a violent suspect was believed to be holed up and started banging on the door.

In the documents, officers describe discomfort knowing how to handle the situation, pointing out they would have quickly restrained and arrested a civilian for the same behavior. The charges were filed Thursday and so far two judges have excused themselves from the case.

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