In Court, NM Border Town Chief Admits to Drug Cartel Payoffs


Former Columbus, N.M., Police Chief Angelo Vega was getting paid more than $40,000 a year from the small village at the same time he was collecting $2,000 a month plus bonuses in $100 bills from the local Juárez Cartel representatives, reports the Albuquerque Journal. Vega testified this week that he didn't remember exactly how much he was paid or how long he worked for the cartel, but another witness testified later that Vega received $2,000 a month plus bonuses.

Vega is the key prosecution witness in the case against Danny Burnett, who is charged with leaking information about a federal wiretap investigation into a gun- and drug-smuggling ring centered in the small border town. Burnett has pleaded not guilty, and his wife, Assistant U.S. Attorney Paula Burnett, has not been charged with any crime. She formerly headed the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney's Office but was walled off from the Columbus investigation once she learned Vega was a potential target.

Comments are closed.