- Associated Press - Thursday, September 7, 2017

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - The longtime director of the Dona Ana County Detention center has resigned as he faced marijuana possession charges and a move to fire him.

The Las Cruces Sun-News (https://bit.ly/2wHB3AV ) reported Wednesday that Chris Barela resigned after an administrative hearing where he was contesting a move to fire him.

Barela has pleaded not guilty to four misdemeanor marijuana possession charges and has a court date later this month. Local narcotics detectives launched an investigation in April after receiving a tip that Barela had regularly been buying marijuana. Detectives then set up a sting and Barela allegedly purchased pot from undercover operatives.

Barela told the Sun-News he resigned under “eminent threat of termination” after being told the hearing officer would order him fired.

Barela has overseen the county jail since 2005.

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Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, https://www.lcsun-news.com


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