ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — A southern New Mexico ranch for troubled youth is suing a state police officer in federal court over his investigation of abuse allegations.
Scott and Colette Chandler, who operate the Tierra Blanca Ranch Youth Program, filed a complaint last week against New Mexico State Police officer Felipe Gonzales.
According to the suit, they allege authorities and state child welfare workers used a ranch employee's accidental death as a way to launch an investigation on behalf of a disgruntled parent.
The couple says state officials entered the ranch without a search warrant and interviewed youth residents without permission.
The embattled ranch previously settled a lawsuit against the state in February 2014 and agreed to some state oversight.
The New Mexico State Police did not immediately return a message seeking comment Saturday.