Couple accused of allowing intoxicated teens to drive
A Bloomfield couple are accused of giving alcohol to two minors and allowing the intoxicated teens drive.
- The couple told police they were "drinking and partying" with a 17-year-old male before letting him drive.
- A 17-year-old female accused Janelda Johnson of giving her a bottle of alcohol and a pipe with marijuana.
FARMINGTON — A Bloomfield couple is facing child abuse charges based on accusations they gave alcohol to two minors and allowed the allegedly intoxicated teens to drive them around San Juan County.
Janelda Johnson, 39, and Sheldon Johnson, 41, were arrested on April 15 and each charged with two felony counts for child abuse and two felony counts for selling or giving alcohol to a minor, according to the criminal complaint.
Neither currently has legal representation, according to court records.
A Farmington Police Department officer was flagged down about 5:22 a.m. on April 15 by a driver, stating there was a vehicle wreck that had occurred near the U.S. Post Office building on 20th Street.
The couple along with a 17-year-old male and female were found passed out in a white Ford Explorer, according to the probable cause statement.
The vehicle was parked on the sidewalk on the northwest corner of 20th Street and Fairview Ave. in Farmington.
When officers arrived at the scene, the 17-year-old female was in the driver's seat, the 17-year-old male was in the front passenger seat and the Johnsons were in the back seat of the vehicle.
When the officer opened the front passenger door, he "smelled a strong odor of alcohol and marijuana," according to court documents.
The Johnson's told police they were in Kirtland that night "drinking and partying" with the 17-year-old male, according to court documents.
The couple allegedly let him drive them to Bloomfield to pick up the 17-year-old female.
They said they knew the 17-year-old male was "intoxicated" when he drove them to Bloomfield.
Once in Bloomfield, the couple let the 17-year-old female drive them around, according to court documents.
The couple initially said that they knew the 17-year-old female was driving while intoxicated and later changed their statements, denying they knew the female was intoxicated.
Sheldon Johnson was arrested at the scene for two outstanding warrants for failing to appear in court and a probation violation, according to court records.
The 17-year-old female, the couple's niece, was arrested for driving while intoxicated, according to court documents. She later gave a statement to police that the couple had bought the alcohol and marijuana.
She added that Janelda Johnson allegedly handed her the bottle of alcohol and metal pipe with marijuana, according to court documents.
A metal pipe with a "strong odor of marijuana" was found in Janelda Johnson's right, front coat pocket and she admitted it belonged to her, according to the probable cause statement.
She is also facing an open container petty misdemeanor charge and possession of drug paraphernalia misdemeanor charge.
Janelda Johnson was released from custody on April 17 and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Wednesday morning in Farmington Magistrate Court.
Sheldon Johnson remains in custody at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center with a preliminary hearing also scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.