Kirtland, N.M., Man Pleads Guilty to Discharging a Firearm During a Crime of Violence
ALBUQUERQUE – Harold Pete, 29, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Kirtland, N.M., pled guilty this morning to discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Pete was arrested on Jan. 1, 2013, and was charged in criminal complaint with assault with a dangerous weapon, use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence, and aggravated burglary. According to the criminal complaint, on Dec. 30, 2012, Pete used a shotgun to force his way into his estranged wife’s residence in Ojo Amarillo, which is in the Navajo Indian Reservation. Once inside the residence, Pete assaulted his wife and another Navajo woman by striking them with the shotgun.
During this morning’s proceedings, Pete entered a guilty plea to a criminal information charging him with the use and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to an assault with a dangerous weapon. In his plea agreement, Pete admitted discharging a firearm during an assault on Dec. 30, 2012. Pete admitted firing a shotgun at the door of his estranged wife’s residence and discharging the shotgun again after he was inside the residence. At the time, two women, including his estranged wife, and four minor children were in the residence.
Pete has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. At sentencing, Pete faces a minimum term of ten years in prison followed by not more than five years of supervised release.
This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Adams.
The case was brought pursuant to the Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Tribal SAUSA) Pilot Project which is sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women, and seeks to train tribal prosecutors in federal law, procedure and investigative techniques to increase the likelihood that every viable violent offense against Native women is prosecuted in either federal court or tribal court, or both. The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project was largely driven by input gathered from annual tribal onsultations on violence against women, and is another step in the Justice Department's on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities.