ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico sheriff will serve three years in prison for helping his friend evade police. Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan was sentenced on Thursday morning after being convicted of aiding a felon and intimidating a witness.
Lujan helped his friend and former city councilor Phil Chacon hideout in 2017 after being Chacon was involved in a chance with police. Investigators say Lujan also told his own deputies not to tell anyone about it.
District Attorney Andrea Reeb accused Lujan of abusing his authority, saying he loved the power of being the sheriff. Thursday morning Judge Kathleen McGarry Ellenwood ruled Lujan will spend two years behind bars for the intimidation charge and one year for harboring.
The District Attorney told KRQE News 13 that it was her understanding that Lujan resigned Wednesday a few hours after his conviction. Lujan still faces trial in January for another count related to this case.