ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – After Española Police charged a city councilor with conspiracy, they have now issued a search warrant for his phone. However, he’s not the only public official police are keeping a close eye on.
Last week, Española Police officers went to the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office to serve Sheriff James Lujan with a search warrant for his personal and work cell phones. Police wanted his phones because they say they may have evidence of him interfering with cases involving Española City Councilor John Ramon Vigil, who was just charged with conspiracy, and a career criminal named Phillip Chacon.
“Why a sheriff would come in and obstruct a scene for just a citizen. We don’t know why,” says Interim Police Chief Roger Jimenez.
Jimenez says Lujan interfered with their investigation when Chacon barricaded himself in a house back in March. Then, when officers went to serve City Councilor Vigil with a search warrant for his phone last week, Lujan again showed up to the scene. “This is the second time the sheriff comes into our scenes that we’re actively investigating,” says Jimenez.
That was enough evidence for police to ask a judge to issue the search warrants. Lujan didn’t back down and even tried to leave the building at one point.
Eventually, he gave up and handed over the phones. Right before Sheriff Lujan gave up his phones, he claimed Jimenez was just retaliating against him for not wanting him to be the full-time chief. KRQE News 13 tried to get a comment from both Vigil and Lujan but did not hear back.
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- Rio Arriba County Sheriff accused of being drunk, refusing to leave crime scene