Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan Housed At Los Alamos Detention Center Following Thursday Arrest In Espanola


A Los Alamos County Detention Center booking photo of Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan. Photo Courtesy LAPD


Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan is being housed at the Los Alamos County Detention Center following his arrest Thursday morning by Espanola Police Department. He faces an arraignment at 9:30 a.m. Friday before Los Alamos Magistrate Judge Pat Casados.

The arrest was first reported by Tabitha Clay of the Northern New Mexico Independent online news page and she has published a video of the arrest as well as a video from the May 14 execution of a prior search warrant for two other cell phones belonging to Lujan.

Espanola Magistrate Court documents indicate that Lujan, 59, has been charged with two counts of resisting, evading or obstructing an officer – service of process in connection with an attempt by Espanola Police Department officers accompanied by Taos County Deputies to execute a search warrant for a cell phone belonging to Lujan.

Thursday’s search warrant was in connection with an investigation into separate charges filed in April after Lujan showed up to an Espanola Police Department standoff and told the officers he was communicating with the suspect, Philip Chacon and tried to take charge of the scene. Lujan was also charged with resisting, evading or obstructing an officer – obstruction of process in that case which is now in District Court.

Judge Casados was appointed to the March case following the recusal of Judges Joseph Madrid and Alexandra Naranjo. After the charges was bound over to District Court, five  judges have recused themselves and Judge Bryan Biedscheid was appointed to the case. District Attorney Marco Serna and Attorney General Hector Balderas recused themselves from the case and Balderas appointed Ninth Judicial District Attorney Andrea Reeb as special prosecutor.