ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico sheriff has been found guilty of helping a friend evade police. Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan was found guilty on two charges, aiding a felon and intimidating a witness. Lujan helped his friend and former city councilor Phil Chacon hideout in 2017 after Chacon was involved in a chase with police.


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Investigators say Lujan also told his own deputies not to tell anyone about it. In court, District Attorney Andrea Reeb accused him of abusing his authority saying he loved the power of being the sheriff. Lujan is still the sheriff for Rio Arriba County. He can only be forced out by a conviction or a recall election.

Sentencing is scheduled for Thursday morning.