Rio Arriba County undersheriff accused of ordering deputies to draw guns on other officers

Courtesy photo

Martin Trujillo

A Río Arriba County undersheriff accused of ordering deputies to draw their guns against law enforcement officers from other agencies who were arresting his boss in May faces a fourth-degree felony charge that could lead to an 18-month sentence if he is found guilty.

On Tuesday (Oct. 13), Santa Fe County Magistrate David Segura determined there is probable cause to charge Martin Ray Trujillo, 53, with solicitation to aggravated assault against a police officer for his role in the May 21 incident.

Trujillo is accused of ordering deputies to draw their weapons on Taos County deputies and police officers as they executed a search warrant on Sheriff James Lujan.

The officers were attempting to seize Lujan’s cellphone as part of an investigation into charges filed against him in April. They arrested Lujan on May 21 on suspicion of obstructing an officer after he was accused of failing to comply with the warrant.

At the time, authorities also charged Trujillo with a count of criminal solicitation to commit assisting assault on a peace officer.

Trujillo surrendered to New Mexico State Police in August and was briefly booked into the Los Alamos County jail. He is still serving as undersheriff.

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

Speaking by phone Wednesday, Reeb said the judge made his decision Tuesday after a three-hour preliminary hearing held by videoconference. She said video of the May incident showed Trujillo “ordering his officers to surround the perimeter [of the scene] and to pull their guns on them.”

By the time Trujillo showed up at the scene, she said, “the warrant had been executed and everybody was standing around, so there was no point in ordering that action except for the fact the sheriff [Lujan] had been arrested.”

She said the video shows Trujillo’s deputies did not pull their weapons, but “he ordered someone to commit a felony.”

Reeb also is serving as the special prosecutor in the case against Lujan, who was accused in March of obstructing an Española police officer and entering an active SWAT scene while under the influence of alcohol.

Lujan no longer has a law enforcement certification, which means he cannot carry a gun, drive a police car or make arrests.

Reeb said she will send charging documents for Trujillo to the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Board for review “so they will consider suspending his certification” as well.

Trujillo’s lawyer, William Snowden of Los Alamos, did not respond to a phone call or email seeking comment Wednesday.

 
 

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