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Press Release

Fruitland Man Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse

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 Derek Lorin Blackhorse pleaded guilty to sexual abuse. Blackhorse, 34, of Fruitland New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

According to the plea agreement and other court documents, on May 28, 2021, Blackhorse engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim, Jane Doe, while she was sleeping in her bed at her home. The assault took place on the Navajo Nation.

Under the terms of his agreement, Blackhorse can be sentenced to between 6 and 8 years in prison and must register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case. 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 April 28, 2023

Project Safe Childhood
Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-94