Rio Arriba County Sheriff arrested, accused of obstructing officers

Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan was arrested Thursday morning (May 21) in Española after he allegedly resisted officers who were attempting to execute a search warrant on his phone. The Taos County Sheriff's Office assisted in the arrest. Courtesy photo

Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan was arrested Thursday morning (May 21) as Española police were executing a search warrant on his phone.

Sgt. Jeremy Apodaca, a spokesman for the Española Police Department, said, "The sheriff did resist, and evaded and obstructed our officers, and he was subsequently arrested."

Lujan was charged in March with resisting, evading or obstructing an officer after Española police accused him of arriving at a SWAT scene intoxicated and interfering with the operation.

The case was turned over to 9th Judicial District Attorney Andrea Reeb for prosecution. She requested a search warrant for two of Lujan's cellphones last week, and the Española Police Department executed the warrant.

Reeb said in an interview she became aware that Lujan had a third phone, which officers obtained through a search warrant Thursday morning.

Española police Chief Roger Jimenez could not be reached for comment on the case Thursday morning.

Lujan's attorney, Nathaniel Thompkins, said he was just made aware of the situation and had no comment.

This story first published in the Santa Fe New Mexican, a sibling publication of the Taos News.

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