ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Retired educator Danny Burnett was found guilty in federal court this afternoon on two out of three counts of leaking information about a federal investigation into gun and drug smuggling involving officials of the small border town of Columbus, N.M..
Burnett, whose wife is an assistant U.S. attorney, was charged with leaking information about a wiretap to then-Police Chief Angelo Vega, whom he once mentored. Vega was accused of being on the payroll of the Juarez Cartel, has pleaded guilty in the gun-smuggling case and is awaiting sentencing.
Burnett’s wife has not been charged in the case.
Danny Burnett took the stand in his own defense Thursday and denied telling Vega about the wiretap.
Burnett was allowed to remain free pending sentencing in January. He faces up to 5 years on each count. His attorneys say they are considering an appeal.