New Mexico border town mayor, police chief arrested on drug and weapons charges

The mayor, the police chief and a city councilman in the small New Mexico border town of Columbus were arrested on drug trafficking and firearm charges Thursday. The arrests were part of raids by agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

So far the exact charges on mayor Eddie Espinoza, city council member Ross Gutierrez and police chief Angelo Vega have not been released to the press. KOAT reported, “According to the US Attorney’s office, the men face firearms violations and drug trafficking charges.”

A total of eleven people were reportedly arrested.

KOAT also reported that New Mexico ICE is also conducting operations in Columbus, New Mexico. notes that this came a day after high profile gang indictments in El Paso.

The arrests in Columbus come a day after prosecutors indicted 35 members of the Barrio Azteca gang in El Paso and Southern New Mexico. Among those indicted were 10 charged in connection with the killing of three people – including two Americans – linked to the U.S. Consulate in Juárez last year.

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