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Press Release

Farmington Man Charged with Arson

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Albuquerque Field Office, announced today that Ulrick Bruce Canyon appeared in federal court on a complaint charging him with arson of a dwelling within the maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States. Canyon, 40, of Farmington and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, will remain in custody pending a preliminary and detention hearing scheduled for September 5, 2023.

According to the criminal complaint, on August 28, 2023, officers from the Navajo Nation Police Department responded to a call reporting that a residence located on Indian Service Route 5081 was on fire. As a Navajo Nation Criminal Investigator was responding to the scene, he observed Canyon pushing a wheel barrel full of clothes down the same road used to access the burning residence. When the Criminal Investigator questioned Canyon, he admitted to spraying lighter fluid around the inside of the residence and igniting the lighter fluid with a match. Canyon grabbed his own clothes, threw them into a wheel barrel, and left the residence after throwing two 20-pound propane bottles into the fire.

The Criminal Investigator interviewed the homes residents, John and Jane Doe, who advised that Canyon resided at the home with them. According to John and Jane Doe, Canyon’s behavior over the last several days had become erratic and violent due to drinking and drug use.  The Does further stated that they had left the residence out of fear and had been staying at a hotel in Farmington when they received the call that their house was on fire.

A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted on the current charge, Canyon faces up to life in prison.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office with assistance from the Navajo Nation Police Department and the Navajo Department of Criminal Investigations investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. McGinley is prosecuting the case.

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Updated September 6, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-207