Four defendants in insurance company robbery face federal charges
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Four New Mexico defendants are facing federal charges, accused of robbing an insurance company in Gallup, New Mexico.
According to court records, on Dec. 4, 2021, Amber Yazzie, 27, of Gamerco, New Mexico, Gregory Yazzie, 26, of Gallup, Randy Joe, 43, of Vanderwagen, New Mexico, and Chadyne Tohe allegedly robbed C&R Insurance in Gallup. As Amber Yazzie, Gregory Yazzie and Tohe entered the office, Amber Yazzie allegedly fired a round from a handgun into the ceiling, pointed the gun at C&R employees and ordered the employees to put their hands up, and demanded money. After taking the money, the group allegedly fled in a vehicle driven by Joe.
On Dec. 6, 2021, law enforcement responded to a report that Yazzie was traveling to Gallup from a specific location. Officers encountered a car matching the description of the vehicle in which Yazzie allegedly was traveling and began pursuit. The vehicle allegedly was traveling at a high rate of speed, at times over 100 miles per hour and in the wrong lane, and the headlights had been turned off. A firearm allegedly was fired from the vehicle, and officers disengaged from the pursuit to avoid being hit by gunfire. Law enforcement later located the vehicle behind a residence in Vanderwagen.
A federal grand jury indicted the defendants on Feb 24. Amber Yazzie appeared in federal court for a preliminary and detention hearing on Dec. 15, 2021, and will remain detained pending trial. Gregory Yazzie was arraigned on March 9 and will remain in custody pending trial. Joe was arraigned on March 4. The court ordered that Joe should remain detained pending bedspace at La Pasada Halfway House and COVID quarantine requirements. Tohe made an initial appearance in federal court on March 24. Tohe will remain in custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for March 28.
All four defendants are charged with interference with commerce by threat of violence. Amber Yazzie and Gregory Yazzie are charged with using a firearm during a crime of violence. Amber Yazzie is also charged with assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily harm and knowingly using a firearm during a crime of violence.
An indictment is only an allegation. Defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison for interference with commerce by threat of violence. Amber and Gregory Yazzie face a minimum of five years and up to life in prison for possessing a firearm during a crime of violence. Amber Yazzie faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison for discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.
The Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety, the Navajo Nation Police Department, the Gallup Police Department and the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas J. Marshall is prosecuting the case.
Updated March 25, 2022
Press Release Number: 22-59
Indian Country Law and Justice