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Press Release

Arizona man pleads guilty to travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct

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

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced today that Jonathan John James pleaded guilty to travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. James, 58, of Tsaile, Arizona, will remain on conditions of release pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

According to the plea agreement and other court documents, on April 20, 2022, James followed a child as she shopped with a grandparent at a Home Depot in Gallup, New Mexico. James approached the minor, told her she was attractive and gave her his telephone number, written on a wet wipe package, in hopes they would communicate. On April 27, James received a text message from a person he believed to be the minor he had contacted and began exchanging sexually explicit messages with them. On May 5, James traveled from Arizona to a park in Gallup to meet the victim. He was detained by the FBI upon arrival.

Under the terms of his agreement, James can be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison and must register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.

The Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the FBI Child Exploitation Human Trafficking Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas J. Marshall is prosecuting the case.

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Updated April 6, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-70