FARMINGTON – Two volunteers with the San Juan County, N.M., Fire Department are accused of embezzling thousands of dollars from the county, according to county officials.
Zachary Trujillo and Kyrie Watkins, both 27, were charged with embezzling about $7,677 using county-issued fuel cards. Watkins was a former volunteer with the department, while Trujillo was a current volunteer who has since been suspended while the court case unfolds, county spokesman Devin Neeley said.
During a routine review, there were irregularities found in the use of a fuel card assigned to fire department vehicles. Neeley credits this internal audit process for catching the discrepancies, which ultimately led to an investigation by the San Juan County Sheriff’s Department.
According to court documents, Watkins’ and Trujillo’s PIN codes for the fire department’s fuel cards were being overused. Watkins is suspected of embezzling $2,306 and Trujillo is suspected of embezzling $5,371.
The county will seek restitution from the two former volunteers through the courts, according to a news release from the county. While the release did not identify the two volunteers, court documents charge both Trujillo and Watkins – who according to court documents are dating – with felony embezzlement and felony conspiracy.
“San Juan County is committed to the proper use of taxpayer money and internal checks and balances, which catch errors and misuse,” Neeley’s statement said.
Trujillo was previously reprimanded internally for misusing fuel cards, according to court documents. The couple were booked and released from the San Juan County Adult Detention Facility.