lapel footage from Española Police Department’s seizure of two cellphones belonging to Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, Sheriff James Lujan. Video shows twenty-minutes of multiple officers asking the sheriff to comply with the search warrant.
The case stems from two search warrants that directed them to seize his county-issued work cellphone as well as his personal phone. Twice this Spring, the Sheriff has arrived during Española Police Department's investigations and interfered in active crime scenes. EPD Detective Ernest Saucedo discovered multiple communications using a social media service between Chacon and Española City Councilor John Ramon Vigil..
EPD appears to have probable cause to search the Sheriff's phones to see if he was abusing his power with two cases he was involved in.
During the armed standoff, the Sheriff tried to flee in his truck and the entire department obstructed the officers from executing the warrant, with the Sheriff even telling them to search him for the phones after handing both phones to a subordinate in their presence.
EPD is investigating both cases and no formal charges against the Sheriff have been filed.
Video of the Sheriff trying to take over a crime scene from police allegedly while drunk-https://youtu.be/tNaVYjYmG5U