Letter To The Editor: Is Marco Lucero A ‘Constitutional Sheriff?’

Los Alamos

Before the question of abolishing the Office of the Los Alamos County Sheriff came up, I was unaware of an organization known as the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA). Although its name sounds innocuous, CSPOA is in reality a radical association with a troubling history—and Sheriff Marco Lucero appears to be part of it.

CSPOA was formed in 2011 by an Arizona sheriff named Richard Mack. Mack and CSPOA don’t merely claim that sheriffs are duty-bound to uphold the US Constitution, they claim that sheriffs are the highest law-enforcement authority in the land. That means they put themselves above (and in opposition to) local police as well as federal agencies like the FBI and the ATF.

Mack has become a hero of the radical-right militia movement. CSPOA is associated with Sovereign Citizens, Oath Keepers, and the Posse Comitatus—groups with violent, racist, anti-government ideologies. Three “constitutional sheriffs” arrived to support Cliven Bundy during his standoff in Nevada. Mack has said “CSPOA will be the army to set our nation free.” The

CSPOA website describes the organization as “drawing a line in the sand. We are interposing ourselves between the sometimes overreaching government and your constitutionally guaranteed rights.  We are erecting the barriers that protect states’ rights,” in a “Holy Cause of Liberty.” CSPOA’s website is worth investigating in full. The nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity did an illuminating profile on CSPOA, subtitled, “Former Sheriff Richard Mack has a plan to roll back gun control, tax laws and land-use constraints, one defiant local law enforcement official at a time.”

Marco Lucero appears to be Mack’s “one defiant local law enforcement official” in Los Alamos. He is listed on three separate “constitutional sheriff” sites (here, here, and here) as being a member or supporter of CSPOA, and has never distanced himself from the organization. If he is not a member of this dangerous group of radicals, now would be a good time for him to clarify that. It’s pretty simple. Sheriff Lucero likes to pretend the question is, “Did you take an oath to uphold the Constitution?” In fact, the question is, “Are you a member of/supporter of CSPOA?” 

This is not the entirety of the issue of whether we should abolish the office of the sheriff, which has been covered effectively in other letters, but it seems a pertinent aspect of it.