Rio Arriba undersheriff agrees to retire in exchange for dropped charge - Albuquerque Journal

Rio Arriba undersheriff agrees to retire in exchange for dropped charge

Rio Arriba County Undersheriff Martin Trujillo (Source: Rio Arriba County)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – Rio Arriba County Undersheriff Martin Ray Trujillo has agreed to retire at the end of the month in exchange for a prosecutor dropping the felony charge he was facing.

Trujillo had been charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer for a May 21, 2020, incident in which he was accused of ordering deputies to draw their firearms against officers from the Española Police Department and Taos County Sheriff’s Office who were attempting to execute a search warrant on Trujillo’s then boss, Sheriff James Lujan.

A notice of dismissal was filed Monday and the case was dismissed “without prejudice,” meaning the single fourth-degree felony count could be refiled if Trujillo does not retire, special prosecutor Andrea Reeb confirmed Thursday.

“The defendant is retiring from law enforcement,” the notice states.

A judge assigned Reeb, district attorney in the 9th Judicial District in Clovis, as a special prosecutor in the case.

After consulting with law enforcement officials in Española and Taos “we decided that would be a good way to resolve it,” Reeb told the Journal. “Sheriff Lujan was bringing him (Trujillo) into the situation. Everybody thought it was time to let it rest.”

Neither Trujillo nor his Los Alamos attorney could be reached for comment.

The officers from the other agencies were trying to confiscate Lujan’s cellphone at the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office headquarters in Española after charges were filed against him.

The 2020 incident stemmed from Lujan’s attempts to assist former Española City Councilor Phillip Chacon when he took over a crime scene at Chacon’s home in 2020 and helped Chacon in avoiding police by leading them on a high speed chase in 2017.

Lujan was convicted in a December jury trial of felony counts of aiding a felon and intimidating a witness. He was sentenced to three years in prison and 1½ years of probation. Lujan resigned after his conviction.

Trujillo’s certification as a law enforcement officer is in the hands of the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy, Reeb said.

Reeb said the situation with Rio Arriba County law enforcement agencies is better.

“They are backing each other up again,” she said. “It’s a situation that’s definitely improved.”

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