Eddy Co. sheriff takes stand in Carlsbad showdown

Eddy County Sheriff Scott London
Eddy County Sheriff Scott London

CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico sheriff stood up against armed U.S. Marshals in a land dispute in Carlsbad.

“I wasn’t doing it for fame or glory,” Sheriff Scott London said. “I just did it because I’m trying to do the right thing.”

It was just after 9 a.m. two weeks before Christmas when U.S. Marshals armed with automatic weapons tore through a Carlsbad home. Inside the home were 20-year-old Wilson Baughman and her 1-year-old baby.

“There was extremely loud banging at the door and I could hear other people surrounding my house,” Baughman said.

The feds were trying to evict the mom and dispose of the property, claiming the home was going to be auctioned off because the owner had not paid his taxes. According to court documents, the owner had appealed the case but never had his day in court.

“We certainly cannot be selling or disposing of property until due process has been exhausted,” Sheriff London said.

Baughman’s parents called the sheriff. Sheriff London then confronted the Marshals.

“I was aware that the case was pending and in appeals,” Sheriff London said.

Marshals threatened to arrest the sheriff, but he stood his ground.

“It’s my oath. I took an oath to support the constitution of the United States as well as the constitution of New Mexico and I felt bound to my oath,” Sheriff London said.

“I’m very proud of him. Not very many people have the courage to stand up against an organization that’s as large and powerful as the IRS,” Baughman said.

The appeal is still pending, but in 10 days the IRS intends to auction off three of the owner’s homes in Carlsbad. The sheriff sent a letter to the IRS requesting the agency cancel the auction, but he hasn’t said what he’ll do if the IRS says no.

Baughman has found another place to live.

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