Columbus, NM, police chief, mayor, trustee caught in federal sweep
LAS CRUCES - Columbus Police Chief Angelo Vega, Mayor Eddie Espinoza, trustee Blas Gutierrez and his wife Gabby have been arrested as part of an overnight roundup by federal agents that targeted Doña Ana and Luna County, officials have confirmed.
Sherrif Raymond Cobos and Capt. Arturo Baeza of the Luna County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the arrests to the Deming Headlight Thursday morning. As many as 11 people in Columbus were arrested and four to five homes remained surrounded by federal agents, according to the Headlight.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation following an investigation of federal firearms and drug trafficking allegations, officers said.
A sealed federal indictment from the U.S. Attorney’s Office is expected to be released this afternoon detailing those charges and the charges against the Doña Ana County residents.
Federal and local law enforcement conducted the sweep in Las Cruces, Chaparral and Columbus beginning just after midnight. The total number of people arrested and where they are being held is not yet known.
News articles have been wrong. Columbus officials charged with smuggling firearms illegally into Mexico, not drugs into U.S.
The village of Columbus mayor and police chief, along with a city trustee and others, were charged today with being part of a firearms trafficking ring that was illegally smuggling guns into Mexico….This article contains a link to the indictment.