Drug charges filed against Doña Ana County Jail Director Barela

The man in charge of the Doña Ana County Detention Center has been charged with buying drugs from undercover agents. A criminal complaint shows four counts of Marijuana possession against jail director Chris Barela, according to the Las Cruces Sun News.

The charges were filed Friday afternoon, at the time Doña Ana County officials said they had not received the complaint and Barela was not on leave, but as of 4:30 p.m., a spokesperson for Doña Ana County said Barela has been placed on indefinite leave with pay.

This comes more than a year after Barela was arrested for charges of $20,000 dollars in fraud, embezzlement, bringing contraband into the jail and willful neglect of duty. Those charges were later dismissed.

The Sun News reports these new charges accuse Barela of buying Marijuana every five to 10 days over the course of two years from undercover agents through a Facebook account.

Barela was previously spent about four months on paid administrative leave in 2016 after he was arrested by deputies with the sheriff's department.

Eventually, Barela sued the county for the sheriff's department's action and received a $200,000 settlement.


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