NM Border Town Works To Emerge From Scandal

Dec 27, 2013

A New Mexico border town rocked by a gun-smuggling ring in 2011 involving the village's former mayor and police chief is working to emerge from the scandal.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Columbus, N.M. employees say the village is almost out of debt and elected officials are working to win over residents' trust.

A joint investigation in 2011 by U.S. and Mexico law enforcement agencies nabbed a gun-smuggling ring of more than a dozen people that included former mayor Eddie Espinoza, former Columbus Police Chief Angelo Vega and former Village trustee Blas "Woody" Gutierrez.

Earlier this month, Espinoza was released early from federal prison.

Columbus Mayor Nicole Lawson says she will not seek a second term after dedicating more than two years to putting village affairs back in order.

Information from: Albuquerque Journal. 

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