ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – Following a trial Tuesday afternoon, Mar. 14, in Roswell, a former Chaves County Sheriff’s Deputy, James E. Johnson, was found guilty of five felony counts. Johnson was convicted for receiving public money for services not rendered, according to the attorney general.

A 2021 internal affairs investigation revealed that Johnson had submitted false timesheets and received overtime pay for hours he did not work. This was determined via GPS unit data in Johnson’s patrol vehicle; the location of his vehicle contradicted the hours Johnson had reported on his timesheet. Johnson also took an unauthorized trip to Las Cruces in his patrol vehicle.

In Johnson’s testimony, he admitted to the falsified timesheets. His sentencing is scheduled for May 2; Johnson could face up to 7.5 years for the felonies.

“Public officials should be aware that no one is above the law,” said New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez. “It is our duty as public servants to ensure we are abiding by all laws and procedures within our departments to better serve our communities and represent them with the utmost integrity. I thank Judge Shuler-Gray and our prosecution team for their hard work on this case.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jesse Pecoraro and Deputy Attorney General Mark Probasco.