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Press Release

Taos County Man Pleads Guilty to Theft and Destruction of U.S. Government Property Charges

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

ALBUQUERQUE – John Vaughn Rohan, 38, of Taos County, N.M., pled guilty yesterday in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to theft and destruction of U.S. Government property charges.

Rohan and his co-defendant, Joey Angelo Cruz, 38, of Trampas, N.M., were charged in a six-count indictment filed on Jan. 11, 2018, with three counts of theft of government property and three counts of destruction of government property.  The indictment alleged that the defendants committed the offenses by breaking and entering into the Pilar Maintenance Storage Yard, which was maintained by the Bureau of Land Management in Taos County, on Nov. 23, 2016, March 12, 2017, and March 26, 2017.  It further alleges that on each date, the defendants stole property valued in excess of $1,000, and destroyed property belonging to the United States.

During yesterday’s change of plea hearing, Rohan pled guilty to one count of theft from the United States and one count of destruction of U.S. property.  In entering the guilty plea, Rohan admitted that on March 26, 2017, he broke into a storage container and stole more than $1,000 worth of equipment with the intention of selling the equipment for money.  Rohan acknowledged that he later learned that the Bureau of Land Management owns the land he broke into and owned the property he stole.

At sentencing, Rohan faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.  A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

Cruz has entered a plea of not guilty to the charges against him.  Charges in criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Land Management and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Mysliwiec.

Updated October 3, 2018