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ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Federal prosecutors want to dismiss charges against the son of an indicted northern New Mexico sheriff who was accused along with his father of roughing up a driver during an off-duty traffic stop.
U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez said Wednesday that prosecutors have filed a motion to dismiss charges against Thomas Rodella, Jr.
Rodella and his father, Rio Arriba County Sheriff Thomas Rodella, were indicted this month for conspiracy to violate a motorist’s civil rights during the March encounter.
Court papers say the sheriff wasn’t in uniform when he chased down the motorist, jumped out of his personal SUV with a gun and shoved his badge in the motorist’s face.
Prosecutors say the younger Rodella may lack the cognitive ability necessary to prove the charges against him.
Federal agents were looking for a New Mexico sheriff’s badge during a May raid to test it for DNA in connection with an encounter with a motorist, newly released court documents said.
According to unsealed court documents, FBI agents wanted Rio Arriba County Sheriff Thomas Rodella’s badge and silver handgun when they searched his house and car, the Albuquerque Journal reports.
The indictment says Rodella shoved his badge in the motorist’s face.