Sheriff accused of interfering in SWAT standoff is arrested

New Mexico

FILE – In this Oct. 2, 2014, file photo, James Lujan is sworn in by the Rio Arriba County Commissioners as the new Rio Arriba County Sheriff in Espanola, N.M. Espanola Police said Lujan on Saturday, March 21, 2020, showed up drunk to a SWAT standoff, tried to order officers away, then ignored commands to leave the “kill zone.” (Luis Sanchez Saturno/The Santa Fe New Mexican via AP, File)

ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (Albuquerque Journal) — Authorities say a New Mexico sheriff suspected of showing up under the influence of alcohol to a SWAT standoff and trying to order officers away was arrested Thursday.

The Albuquerque Journal says Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan initially refused to comply with the arrest and was taken from his office in handcuffs by Española police officers and Taos County deputies.

Court records show Lujan has been charged with resisting, evading or obstructing an officer, a felony.

A criminal complaint says he smelled like alcohol and appeared to have trouble keeping his balance at the scene of the SWAT incident.

His attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment. 

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