You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 7, 2022

La Grande Man Faces Federal Charges After Sexually Abusing Two Minors He Met on Snapchat

PORTLAND, Ore.—A La Grande, Oregon man faces federal charges today after he sexually abused and transported across state lines two minors he met on Snapchat.

Albert Wayne Johnson, 40, has been charged by criminal complaint with coercing and enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity and transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual conduct.

According to court documents, on August 8, 2022, deputies from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of two minors abandoned at Barton Park in Boring, Oregon. The children told the deputies they met Johnson on Snapchat and that he had driven them from Washington State through Idaho and into Oregon and had sexually abused both repeatedly during the trip. Along the way, Johnson stopped at a motel in Othello, Washington and a campground in La Grande where he continued abusing both children. After arriving in Boring, Johnson left the children at a campsite in Barton Park and never returned.

On August 18, 2022, after receiving information about the abduction and alleged abuse that occurred in Othello, detectives from the Othello Police Department contacted the motel in Othello and obtained surveillance footage showing Johnson with the two children.

On August 30, 2022, officers and deputies from the La Grande Police Department, Union County Sheriff’s Office, Union County Probation Department, and Umatilla Tribal Police Department located Johnson at his residence in La Grande and arrested him on an outstanding parole violation warrant.

Johnson made his initial appearance in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Youlee Yim You. He was ordered detained pending further court proceedings.

Coercing and enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity and transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual conduct are both punishable by up to life in prison with 10-year mandatory minimum sentences per count of conviction.

This case was investigated by FBI Portland’s Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) with assistance from the Othello Police Department, La Grande Police Department, Union County Sheriff’s Office, Union County Probation Department, Umatilla Tribal Police Department, and Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Cadotte is prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Anyone who has information about the physical or online exploitation of children are encouraged to call the FBI at (503) 224-4181 or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

The FBI CETF conducts sexual exploitation investigations, many of them undercover, in coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. CETF is committed to locating and arresting those who prey on children as well as recovering and assisting victims of sex trafficking and child exploitation.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Justice Department to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated October 11, 2022