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Press Release

Felon from San Juan County Pleads Guilty to Unlawfully Possessing Firearm and Ammunition

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Prosecuted Under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – Shane Johnston, 41, of Aztec, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.


Johnston was arrested in April 2016, on an indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition on Sept. 1, 2015, in San Juan County, N.M. According to the indictment, Johnston previously had been convicted of several felony offenses including possession of a controlled substance, receiving stolen property, possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon, burglary of an automobile and distribution of methamphetamine.


During today’s proceedings, Johnston pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that on Sept. 1, 2015, he was in possession of a firearm and ammunition and was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of his status as a convicted felon. At sentencing, Johnston faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison. If the Court determines that Johnston is an armed career criminal, Johnston faces an enhanced sentence of a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment.


This case was investigated by the ATF and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel A. Hurtado as part of a federal anti-violence initiative that targets “the worst of the worst” offenders for federal prosecution. Under this initiative, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal law enforcement agencies work with New Mexico’s District Attorneys and state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to target violent or repeat offenders primarily based on their prior convictions for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.

Updated May 3, 2017

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime