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Rodella gets 10 years for civil rights, firearms conviction

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By The Staff

Former Rio Arriba County Sheriff Thomas R. Rodella, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court for his conviction on criminal civil rights and firearms charges.
Rodella was found guilty of the charges in September. The charges stemmed from a March 11 incident in which the former sheriff was involved in a high-speed pursuit in a private vehicle.
After the victim stopped, Rodella, who was not in uniform at the time, jumped out of his vehicle with firearm in hand, entered the victim’s vehicle, and assaulted the victim with the firearm.
Thomas Rodella, Jr., the former sheriff’s son, dragged the victim of the chase out of his vehicle and identified his father as the sheriff.
When the victim requested to see Rodella’s badge, Rodella pulled the victim’s head up by his hair and slammed his badge into the victim’s face.
“The American people hold their law enforcement officers to high standards, and those standards are even higher for the leaders of public safety agencies,” said Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division. “Although the FBI realizes the majority of officers perform their duties in an exemplary and even heroic manner, we will not hesitate to investigate those who betray the public's trust.”


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