Albuquerque, NM – On June 15, 2012, Murder warrants were issued out of
the state of Illinois for Carlton Neely and James Edward Johnson. Neely and
Johnson went on a shooting spree shooting 4 victims, murdering 1. Fifteen
minutes after shooting those victims, Neely and Johnson drive to another town
and shot another victim in the back. Neely and Johnson were also involved in 2
other shootings over a two week span in Illinois, and are wanted for questioning
in those. The pair fled Illinois to California. United States Marshals were
brought in on the case to assist in the fugitive apprehension investigation.
Deputy Marshals developed leads tracking Neely and Johnson to California,
Arizona, and then New Mexico.
On June 22, 2012, United States Marshal’s South West Investigative Fugitive Team
(SWIFT) task force in Albuquerque, NM, assisted in the nationwide manhunt
investigation for Neely and Johnson by following up on leads in NM. Deputies
developed information that Neely and Johnson were in the Santa Rosa area.
Deputies along with New Mexico State Police and New Mexico Motor Transportation
Division Officers began checking hotels, restaurants, and truck stops along the
I-40 corridor. Information was developed in Santa Rosa that Neely attempted to
purchase a hotel room but that the town had no vacancies. Deputies decided to
check the town of Tucumcari, NM, and pushed further east in pursuit of the 2
On June 23, 2012, at 4 o’clock in the morning, after checking over 15 hotels in
the Tucumcari area one of the teams of Deputy Marshals decided to get a cup of
coffee at the Love’s Truck Stop. While in the store, a Deputy observed James
Edward Johnson in line purchasing food. The Deputy went out to his vehicle and
informed the team of Marshals. Deputies set up surveillance in the parking lot
of Love’s and observed Johnson exit the store and get into a red semi- truck
tractor trailer parked in the parking lot. Once Deputies observed the other
fugitive Carlton Neely sitting in the driver’s seat of the truck Deputies
immediately approached the vehicle and took both subjects into custody without
incident. Marshals found 2 semi-automatic handguns in the truck. Neely and
Johnson were booked into custody and are awaiting extradition back to Illinois.
District of New Mexico, United States Marshal, Conrad Candelaria, said "a
nationwide manhunt that spanned two weeks and covered numerous states and in
their path these two fugitives struck fear in many communities with their
violent rampage caused by numerous shootings; several districts of the United
States Marshals Service teamed together and joined by many law enforcement
agencies relentlessly pursued and combed every community impacted by these two
fugitives, seeking any leads that would reveal their location; Deputy U S
Marshals assigned to the District of New Mexico took the lead and in the early
morning hours while our communities slept, many miles were covered in New Mexico
and with a little luck and extraordinary enforcement work the two fugitives were
apprehended without incident."
If you have any information regarding fugitives from justice, please contact the
United States Marshals Service for the District of New Mexico at (505)
346-6400/Albuquerque or (575) 527-6850/Las Cruces.
Additional information about the
U.S. Marshals Service can be found at
America’s Oldest Federal Law Enforcement Agency