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Defendant was fired on March 20 by chairman

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FARMINGTON — The former executive director of San Juan County Crime Stoppers was fired after a criminal investigation led him to being accused of embezzling an SUV, intended for the non-profit, and using it for his own personal gain.

Johnny Adams, 49, is accused of a third-degree felony count of embezzlement (over $2,500 but not more than $20,000), according to the criminal complaint.

The defendant allegedly embezzled a 2010 Ford Expedition, worth about $2,500 to $7,500, which was transferred to the nonprofit from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Adams did not have legal representation on March 26.

A summons was mailed to Adams on March 25 and no arrest warrant was issued, according to court records.

Curtis McGee, the chairman of the San Juan County Crime Stoppers board, told The Daily Times the board was briefed on the investigation on March 19 and served Adams with a notice of termination on March 20.

For McGee, maintaining the integrity of the program is important for the board.

Adams is the second San Juan County Crime Stoppers executive director to face criminal charges recently.

Carlee Hooper was charged on July 27, 2018, with felony counts of embezzlement and tampering with evidence, according to The Daily Times archives.

She was accused of making about $2,300 in purchases using the Crime Stoppers bank account in 2017 and deleting evidence. Those charges were dismissed on Jan. 3, 2019, according to court records.

McGee said the board is not going to tolerate people who take advantage of the nonprofit organization.

The San Juan County Sheriff's Office handled the investigation.

The court documents state the Sheriff's Office transferred the SUV to Crime Stoppers in 2019 after that action was approved by the San Juan County Commission.

Adams signed the transfer paperwork and registered the vehicle with the nonprofit.

McGee told The Daily Times Adams had his personal insurance on the vehicle.

A former Crime Stoppers board member and staff from the Sheriff's Office saw Adams driving the vehicle after hours and on weekends for personal use, according to court documents.

Adams' wife was also observed driving the vehicle.

The issue was brought to McGee's attention, who did not know the vehicle Adams was seen driving was given to the program.

The defendant allegedly never informed McGee or the Crime Stoppers board the vehicle was donated to the nonprofit.

When asked about the SUV, documents indicate Adams told McGee he bought it from the county at an auction and it was his personal vehicle.

Adams was interviewed at the Sheriff's Office on the morning of March 18.

When asked why he used the SUV for personal use, Adams said the nonprofit did not have a policy on it.

Adams did not provide an answer about why he didn't tell the board or McGee the vehicle was donated to the nonprofit.

The defendant admitted to taking possession of the vehicle and that his wife used the SUV.

"I made a mistake by getting the vehicle and not telling (McGee)," Adams was quoted as saying in the probable cause statement.

Adams allegedly put about 2,000 miles on the vehicle between Jan. 13 and Feb. 9.

The defendant's first appearance in Aztec Magistrate Court is set for the morning of April 8.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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