News and Press Releases

Navajo Man Sentenced to 24-Month Prison Term for Failing to Register as Sex Offender

March 17, 2011

ALBUQUERQUE -- United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that, on March 16, 2011 in Albuquerque federal court, Alton Jay Cowboy, 41, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, to 24-months imprisonment based on his conviction for failing to register under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).  After serving his prison term, Cowboy will be on supervised release for a term of five years and will be required to register as a sex offender .

SORNA, also known as the Adam Walsh Protection and Safety Act, requires that a convicted sex offender register in each jurisdiction where the offender resides, where the offender is employed, or where the offender is a student, and that the sex offender maintain current registrations. 

In December 2009, the United States Marshals Service filed a criminal complaint alleging that Cowboy was in violation of his SORNA registration requirements.  The complaint alleged that Cowboy was required to register as a sex offender because he was convicted of Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child (Crime on an Indian Reservation) in the United States District Court of New Mexico in September 1998, and was sentenced to serve 87 months in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons.  It also reflects that Cowboy first registered as a sex offender with the State of New Mexico on January 25, 2006, as a lifetime registrant.

Court records reflect that, in October 2008, the Second Judicial District Court in the State of New Mexico convicted Cowboy of his first SORNA violation, for failure to comply with sex offender registration, and he served a sentence of unsupervised probation.  Thereafter, a warrant was issued in May 2009 by the Second Judicial District Court in the State of New Mexico based on Cowboy's second sex offense violation.  In November 2009, Cowboy reported to the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) to update his sex offender tracking form and to report that he was moving to Crownpoint, New Mexico.  Thereafter, an investigation by the BCSO revealed that Cowboy had not updated his registration in McKinley County, where Crownpoint is located, or any other county.

On December 22, 2009, a federal warrant was issued for Cowboy's arrest for failure to comply with SORNA.  Cowboy was indicted on January 28, 2010 on the same offense, and was arrested on May 5, 2010.  He has been in federal custody since that time.  On October 7, 2010, Cowboy pleaded guilty to the indictment.

Assistant United States Attorney Kyle T. Nayback prosecuted this case, which was investigated by the United States Marshals Service.



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