Convicted sex offender accused in third child porn case

Defendant accused of multiple parole violations

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • James Sears Jr., 48, is accused of a fourth-degree felony count of possession of child pornography, according to the criminal complaint.
  • The defendant was convicted three times for failure to register as sex offender.
  • Sears was sentenced on March 12, 2018, to 11 years in the New Mexico Department of Corrections, with all but three years suspended, according to court documents.

FARMINGTON — A man convicted twice of possessing child pornography is accused in a third child pornography case that could lead to him serving a full 11-year prison sentence for violating his probation.

James Sears Jr., 48, is accused of a fourth-degree felony count of possession of child pornography, according to the criminal complaint.

Mary Weber, Sears' attorney, said in a statement she will vigorously defend her client.

Sears has two felony convictions for possession of child pornography; a June 29, 2007, conviction in Colorado and a March 12, 2018, conviction in Aztec District Court, according to court documents.

He also has three convictions for failing to register as a sex offender. Two of those cases resulted in misdemeanor convictions in Aztec Magistrate Court and one led to a felony conviction in Colorado. Sears did not have a last known address listed in court documents or jail records.

The arrest warrant affidavit filed on July 31 and an Aug. 5 motion to revoke Sears' probation detail how he allegedly possessed child pornography on July 29.

A San Juan County Sheriff's Office detective was contacted on July 29 about a smartphone that a probation officer found hidden in a golf bag in Sears' vehicle.

James Sears Jr.

As part of Sears' parole conditions, he signed a waiver allowing his electronic devices to be searched by probation and parole officials at any time.

Sears was only allowed to have a "flip phone" without internet access as part of his probation.

The probation officer allegedly found adult pornography on the phone and internet search history related to child pornography on the smartphone.

During the investigation, the detective found an image depicting child pornography on the smartphone's internal storage, according to court documents.

The San Juan County District Attorney's Office's motion to revoke Sears' probation alleges numerous probation violations in the nine-page document.

Some of the alleged probation violations including communicating with a convicted sex offender, failing to disclose work as a handyman and being paid in cash, viewing adult pornography and not disclosing account names and passwords for social media and online dating websites.

Sears was sentenced on March 12, 2018, to 11 years in the New Mexico Department of Corrections, with all but three years suspended, according to court documents.

He was discharged from prison and put on probation on Sept. 30, 2019.

The prosecution seeks to have Sears serve all of the 11-year prison sentence, minus credit for time served in prison and on probation.

A hearing on the motion is scheduled for the morning of Aug. 28 in Aztec District Court.

The defendant's preliminary hearing is set for the morning of Aug. 13 in Aztec Magistrate Court.

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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