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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 8, 2016

Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty to Failing to Update his Sex Offender Registration

ALBUQUERQUE – Willie Lewis Griffin, 44, of Albuquerque, N.M., pled guilty this morning in federal court to violating the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).  The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and U.S. Marshal Conrad E. Candelaria.

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.

Griffin was arrested on April 28, 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with violating SORNA by failing to update his sex offender registration.  On May 24, 2016, Griffin was indicted on that same charge.  According to the indictment, Griffin failed to update his registration between Jan. 23, 2016 and May 1, 2016, in Bernalillo County, N.M.

According to the criminal complaint, Griffin was convicted in Feb. 1993, of breaking and entering, three counts of criminal sexual conduct with a weapon, armed robbery and assault with a dangerous weapon, and was sentenced to not more than 20 years in federal prison.  On March 31, 2012, Griffin registered as a sex offender in the state of Michigan and agreed to notify the jurisdiction to which he moved if he relocated outside of the jurisdiction.  According to the complaint, the U.S. Marshals Service was notified that Griffin had been residing in Albuquerque since Feb. 2016, and was not registered as a sex offender in the jurisdiction. 

During today’s plea hearing, Griffin pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that from Jan. 23, 2016 through May 1, 2016, he failed to update his sex offender registration in Bernalillo County.  At sentencing, Griffin faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison.  Griffin will be required to register as a sex offender after completing his prison sentence.  A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Niki Tapia-Brito.

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Updated July 8, 2016