The scandal-plagued, tiny New Mexico border town of Columbus is dissolving its police department and asking the county sheriff to protect its citizens.
An employee at Columbus City Hall confirmed to The Lookout that the police force has been dissolved. The Luna County Sheriff’s Office will now take over patrolling the town.
The town has been upended since federal authorities arrested Police Chief Angelo Vega, Mayor Eddie Espinoza, Village Trustee Blas Gutierrez and nine other residents for conspiring to smuggle hundreds of guns to drug cartels over the border in March. All of the accused have pleaded not guilty, and their trial is expected in October, according to the Las Cruces Sun News. (You can read the indictment here.)