SANTA FE – A federal and state sting operation has led to the arrest of a veteran Colfax County sheriff’s deputy after he allegedly offered to safely escort undercover agents carrying cocaine and money through the county in exchange for part of the drug profits.
Deputy Vidal Sandoval, 45, of Cimmaron is reported to have asked for “5 percent of the bulk cash going south to Mexico” in return for getting drug loads to the Colorado border.
The sting took place after two men carrying money and marijuana reported to State Police last summer that an officer, later identified as Sandoval, took $10,000 from them, then gave back $600 for travel expenses to Arizona.
Interstate 25 through New Mexico and to the north has long been considered a major drug route. In fact, prior news reports identify Sandoval as being in on major busts on the interstate – he seized $48,000 in suspected drug money in 2007 and $310,000 in 2008 after speeding stops, the news accounts say.