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Press Release

Arizona man faces charge for attempting to entice a minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Jonathan John James, 58, of Tsaile, Arizona, appeared in federal court today for a preliminary and detention hearing where he was charged with attempted coercion and enticement of a minor. James will remain on conditions of release pending trial, which has not been scheduled.

According to a criminal complaint, on April 20 James allegedly followed a child as she shopped with a grandparent at a Home Depot in Gallup, New Mexico. James allegedly approached the victim, told her she was attractive and gave her his telephone number, written on a wet wipe package, in hopes they would communicate. On April 20, James allegedly began exchanging sexually explicit messages with someone he thought was the victim.

The messages were reported to the FBI on April 27. James continued exchanging messages with a person he thought was the victim. On April 28, James allegedly sent 24 images of obscene material depicting adults engaged in sexual activities, all of which showed nudity, and arranged to meet the victim. On May 5, James traveled from Arizona to a park in Gallup to meet the victim. He was detained by the FBI upon arrival.

A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, James faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison.

The FBI Child Exploitation Human Trafficking Task Force investigated this case with assistance from the Gallup Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas J. Marshall is prosecuting the case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

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Updated May 11, 2022

Project Safe Childhood
Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 22-108