Shiprock Man Pleads Guilty to Using a Firearm in Relation to a Crime of Violence on the Navajo Indian Reservation
ALBUQUERQUE – Eddie Shirley, 28, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to using and brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Shirley will be sentenced to not less than seven years in federal prison.
Shirley was arrested in Dec. 2012, on a criminal complaint charging him and co-defendant, Jerrileta Singer, 32, with the armed robbery of a Sonic Drive-In Restaurant in Shiprock on Nov. 30, 2012. Singer subsequently was arrested in Jan. 2013. The two were then indicted and charged with (1) robbery, and (2) using and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
During today’s plea hearing, Shirley entered a guilty plea to Count 2 of the indictment and admitted using a firearm to rob the Sonic Drive-In in Shiprock on Nov. 30, 2012. Shirley acknowledged that a female participated in the robbery and that together they used force, intimidation and violence to take money from the restaurant’s employees.
Shirley has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
Singer has entered a not guilty plea to the indictment and is scheduled for trial on July 1, 2013. The charges in the indictment against Singer are merely accusations and she is presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Novaline D. Wilson.