Fired Crime Stoppers director not guilty of embezzling SUV intended for nonprofit

The one-day jury trial took place on May 10

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Johnny Adams, 50, was acquitted of a third-degree felony count of embezzlement after a one-day jury trial on May 10 in Aztec District Court, according to court documents.
  • He was charged on March 25, 2020, and accused of embezzling a 2010 Ford Expedition, worth about $2,500 to $7,500, that was transferred to Crime Stoppers from the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Adams was fired from his position on March 20, 2020, by the San Juan County Crime Stoppers board due to the criminal investigation.

FARMINGTON — The former executive director of San Juan County Crime Stoppers is not guilty of embezzling a SUV from the non-profit following a jury trial in mid-May.

Johnny Adams, 50, was acquitted of a third-degree felony count of embezzlement after a one-day jury trial on May 10 in Aztec District Court, according to court documents.

He was charged on March 25, 2020, and accused of embezzling a 2010 Ford Expedition, worth about $2,500 to $7,500, that was transferred to Crime Stoppers from the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, according to The Daily Times archives.

Adams was fired from his position on March 20, 2020, by the San Juan County Crime Stoppers board due to the criminal investigation.

Mark Curnutt, Adams’ attorney, said in a statement that he and his client are very happy with the jury verdict.

“Mr. Adams did not commit a crime and after the office of the district attorney presented all of their evidence, the jury agreed Mr. Adams did not embezzle the vehicle from Crime Stoppers,” Curnutt said.

Dustin O’Brien, San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney, told The Daily Times the prosecution respects the jury’s decision and that the facts of the case were unusual.

“Because Crime Stoppers did not lose any money or property, that may have made the case more difficult to understand,” O’Brien said.

The prosecution alleged in court documents Adams took possession of the Ford SUV, after the Sheriff’s Office transferred the vehicle to the non-profit in 2019.

The vehicle was registered to Crime Stoppers, but Adams had the vehicle insured through his insurance, according to court documents.

During one interview, Adams claimed he bought the vehicle at auction and it was his personal vehicle.

Curnutt said in a statement that Crime Stoppers did not have a vehicle use policy and that a detective testified in court Adams was allowed to use the vehicle for personal transportation.

“Mr. Adams had registered the vehicle to Crime Stoppers, the vehicle was titled to Crime Stoppers, and the vehicle was used for Crime Stoppers activities,” Curnutt said. “His personal use of the vehicle never interfered with why Crime Stoppers acquired the vehicle.”

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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