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For Immediate Release

June 23, 2012 DUSM James Badway, District of New Mexico (505) 938-7550
It All Ends in Tucumcari

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 violent fugitives.

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


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