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Ex-mayor of Columbus smuggles guns, keeps taxpayer-funded pension [NM]
NM Watchdog ^ | 12-18-13 | Rob Nikolewski

Posted on 12/19/2013 6:51:11 PM PST by smokingfrog

SANTA FE – A conviction for gun smuggling isn’t stopping a former Columbus mayor from getting nearly $17,000 a year in taxpayer-funded pension money, New Mexico Watchdog has learned.

The former mayor, Eddie Espinoza, was released from federal prison in late November three years early from a four-year sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy, trafficking in firearms and making false statements while purchasing firearms. Because Espinoza held a job with the state of New Mexico, he gets $1,387.89 each month from the Public Employees Retirement Association.

“As a defined benefit plan, PERA will pay this monthly amount for the retiree’s lifetime,” Susan Pittard, chief of staff-general counsel at PERA, said in an email Tuesday to New Mexico Watchdog.

Pittard said confidentiality statutes forbid PERA from disclosing what Espinoza did with the state and for how long.

Efforts by New Mexico Watchdog to contact Espinoza were unsuccessful.

So how does a convicted felon keep his taxpayer-funded pension?

For the same reason former state Senate Pro Tem Manny Aragon, who was also released early from prison this month, does.........

(Excerpt) Read more at newmexico.watchdog.org ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events; US: New Mexico
KEYWORDS: banglist; gunrunning

1 posted on 12/19/2013 6:51:11 PM PST by smokingfrog
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To: smokingfrog

The indictment alleges that, between January 2010 and March 2011, the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to purchase firearms for illegal export to Mexico. During this 14-month period, the defendants allegedly purchased about 200 firearms from Chaparral Guns in Chaparral, N.M., which is owned and operated by defendant Ian Garland.

According to the indictment, the defendants purchased firearms favored by the Mexican Cartels, including 40 AK-47-type pistols, weapons resembling AK-47 rifles but with shorter barrels and without rear stocks, and American Tactical 9 mm caliber pistols.

The defendants allegedly obtained firearms from Chaparral Guns by falsely claiming they were the actual purchasers of the firearms, when in fact they were acting as “straw purchasers” who were buying the firearms on behalf of others, according to the indictment.


2 posted on 12/19/2013 6:57:25 PM PST by robowombat
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To: robowombat

“The indictment alleges that, between January 2010 and March 2011, the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to purchase firearms for illegal export to Mexico.”

Shouldn’t Obama be doing time right beside them; it’s a little difficult to believe that this whole scheme wasn’t vetted by the White House...


3 posted on 12/19/2013 7:01:48 PM PST by Jack Hammer
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To: robowombat

A four year sentence and out in three seems like a slap on the wrist, considering.


4 posted on 12/19/2013 7:01:54 PM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: smokingfrog
The latest from Deming. Eddie will get to be home for Christmas, how touching. maybe one of the Spanish language networks can do a Christmas special on his heartfelt homecoming.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. >> The former mayor of a New Mexico border town has been released after serving part of his sentence for his role in a smuggling ring that shipped 200 guns to Mexican drug cartels.

The Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/1bZeAQq ) reports that former Columbus Mayor Eddie Espinoza served about a year of the 51-month sentence he received in 2012.

Bureau of Prisons spokesman Ed Ross says Espinoza was released Nov. 26 for good conduct and will remain under probation supervision for three years.

...........

Espinoza pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, three counts of making false statements in the acquisition of firearms and three counts of smuggling firearms from the United States.

5 posted on 12/19/2013 7:02:28 PM PST by robowombat
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To: smokingfrog

.. out three years early I mean


6 posted on 12/19/2013 7:03:01 PM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: Jack Hammer

Probably was, why he’s out early.


7 posted on 12/19/2013 9:28:54 PM PST by Eagles6 (Valley Forge Redux)
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To: smokingfrog

He only did 1 year. Suspend disbelief and read again.


8 posted on 12/19/2013 9:31:18 PM PST by Eagles6 (Valley Forge Redux)
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To: Eagles6

I thought under the Federal system, you must serve mandatory 85% of the sentence before being considered for release. (Unless the fix is in, apparently/s;)


9 posted on 12/19/2013 11:42:12 PM PST by Frank_2001
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To: Frank_2001
"The former mayor, Eddie Espinoza, was released from federal prison in late November three years early from a four-year sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy, trafficking in firearms and making false statements while purchasing firearms.

according to the story. Maybe they were state charges or, more likely, part of Fast & Furious.

10 posted on 12/20/2013 12:03:18 AM PST by Eagles6 (Valley Forge Redux)
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To: smokingfrog

One of Richardson’s boys?


11 posted on 12/20/2013 12:05:21 AM PST by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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