In Brief

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The Associated Press

Police chief back in court

LAS CRUCES — A federal judge is to hear an appeal Thursday from the police chief of a New Mexico border town who is one of a dozen people accused of being part of a gun smuggling ring that prosecutors allege bought weapons to send to Mexico.

The suspended Columbus police chief, 40-year-old Angelo Vega, has appealed an order to hold him pending trial.

The U.S. Attorney's Office opposes his release, and filed a response Wednesday to his appeal.

Federal prosecutors say Vega was ordered detained March 15 as a flight risk and a danger to the community.

The response details the conspiracy charge against Vega.

Village trustees voted last week to suspend Vega without pay.

The mayor of Columbus and a village trustee also face charges in the same case.

State group seeks comment

SANTA FE — The New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority is soliciting public comments on its proposed procedures for using the power of eminent domain to acquire property for building electric transmission lines.

The authority is a quasi-government agency that can plan, build and operate transmission lines and power storage facilities.

Authority Executive Director Jeremy Turner said Wednesday the eminent domain rules will be published on the group's website and public comments will be accepted for 45 days. The authority will consider whether to adopt the proposals at a May 17 meeting in Santa Fe.

No NM charges in body parts case

ALBUQUERQUE — Authorities in New Mexico say they will not file charges in the investigation of an Albuquerque company that had sent seven heads, a torso and several limbs to a Kansas medical waste facility.

The district attorney's office says there is not enough evidence for criminal charges against Paul Montano, the owner of Bio Care Inc.

Montano's number has been disconnected and he could not be reached. The investigation began in March 2010.