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Press Release

Arizona Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Sexual Abuse

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

ALBUQUERQUE – 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 Wade Platero was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Platero, 27, of Cove, Arizona, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, pled guilty to abusive sexual contact on Jan. 19, 2023.

According to court records, on Dec. 28, 2021, officers from the Navajo Police Department responded to a domestic violence call at a residence in Cove, Arizona. Subsequently, one of the parties accused Platero of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl, Jane Doe, that was in his care. During a subsequent interview, Jane Doe disclosed to forensic interviewers that Platero had begun assaulting her when she was 9 years old, and the incidents had continued until the day of the domestic violence incident. Jane Doe also stated that she was scared for her younger sister’s safety. When questioned by police, Platero attempted to justify his actions by saying that Jane Doe had come on to him in the past. At the time, Platero was more than twice the 12-year-old’s age and in his mid-20s.

In his plea agreement, Platero admitted that he sexually assaulted Jane Doe on Dec. 28, 2021, the day of the domestic violence incident which caused police to become involved.

Upon his release from prison, Platero must adhere to state and federal sex offender registration requirements. His sentence also includes 15 years of Supervised Release by the United States Probation Office after release from incarceration.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Nation Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Alexander F. Flores is prosecuting the case as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC).

PSC is 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 December 8, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-280