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Rio Arriba County Undersheriff retires in order to avoid felony charge

Undersheriff Martin Ray Trujillo
Rio Arriba County Sheriff's Office
Undersheriff Martin Ray Trujillo

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.

According to reporting done by the Albuquerque Journal, Trujillo had been charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer for an incident that occurred on May 21, 2020.

Trujillo is accused of ordering deputies to draw their firearms against officers from the Española Police Department and the 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 on Monday, and the case was dismissed “without prejudice”. This means the single fourth-degree felony count could be refiled if Trujillo does not retire, this according to special prosecutor Andrea Reeb.

After consulting with law enforcement officials in both Española and Taos, it was decided that Trujillo’s retirement would be a “good way to resolve it.”

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.

These charges 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 also helped him in avoiding police by leading them on a high speed chase in 2017.

Lujan was convicted in a December jury trail of felony counts of aiding a felon and intimidating a witness.

He was sentenced to three years in prison and 1 and a half years of probation. Lujan also resigned from his position following this conviction.