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Justice News

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

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Crownpoint Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Sexual Abuse Charge

ALBUQUERQUE – Elbanal Al Johnson, 34, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Crownpoint, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to a felony information charging him with abusive sexual contact.  Under the terms of the plea agreement, Johnson will be sentenced to ten years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.  Johnson will have to register as a sex offender when he completes his prison sentence.

Johnson was arrested in March 2013, based on a criminal complaint charging him with sexually assaulting an 11-year-old Indian child in Crownpoint in Nov. 2012.  According to court filings, the child victim was in Johnson’s care when Johnson committed the crime.  During today’s proceedings, Johnson admitted sexually assaulting the child victim on Nov. 5, 2012.

Johnson has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has not been scheduled. 

This case was investigated by the Gallup office of the FBI and the Crownpoint office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Novaline D. Wilson.

The case was brought 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

Updated January 26, 2015