Rio Arriba Sheriff Resigns Following Convictions, Sentencing

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — James Lujan resigned as Rio Arriba County sheriff after being sentenced to prison on felony convictions of aiding a felon and intimidating a witness in 2017.

Lujan submitted his resignation Thursday after being sentenced to a three-year prison term one day after state District Court jurors convicted him following a three-day trial.

A judge denied a request by Lujan's attorney that his client remain free pending an appeal, and the 60-year-old Lujan was taken into custody by Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputies.

Lujan was convicted on charges stemming from allegations he helped former Española City Councilor Philip Chacon evade police following a high-speed chase.

The jury found Lujan guilty of harboring a felon for helping conceal Chacon as police were searching for him.

Lujan also was found guilty of bribery of a witness for threatening one of his deputies to prevent him from revealing Chacon’s whereabouts to other officers.