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Press Release

Shiprock Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Theft Charge

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Orlando J. Johnson, 23, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pled guilty this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a felony information charging him with theft occurring in Indian Country.

Johnson was arrested on Oct. 31, 2014, after officers of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety were called to a fast food restaurant in Shiprock in response to a report that an elderly Navajo man had been robbed of his wallet and money.  According to the criminal complaint, Johnson followed the victim out of the restaurant and stole the wallet from the victim’s pocket.  The victim chased Johnson for approximately half a mile in his truck until he caught up to Johnson, who returned the wallet.

During today’s proceedings, Johnson pled guilty to a felony information charging him with theft occurring in Indian Country.  In entering the guilty plea, Johnson admitted that on Oct. 23, 2014, in San Juan County, N.M., he stole a wallet and cash from the victim. 

At sentencing, Johnson faces a statutory maximum penalty of five years of imprisonment followed by at least one year of supervised release.  Johnson has been in federal custody since his arrest.  He remains detained pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Raquel Ruiz-Velez is prosecuting this case.

Updated March 26, 2015