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Press Release

Fruitland Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearms Offenses

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

ALBUQUERQUE – A Fruitland man pleaded guilty in federal court to federal firearms offenses for opening fire on an occupied residence, then shooting at the occupants as they exited to investigate. Nathaniel Begay, 30, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, pleaded guilty to one count each of assault with a dangerous weapon and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

According to court records, on April 28, 2022, Begay, drove to a residence within the exterior boundaries of the Navajo Nation and fired upon the residence, which was occupied by three adult individuals and five children, with two handguns.  After Begay shot at the residence, the occupants exited to investigate the succession of gunfire.  Once they were outside the home, and while they were directly in front of him, Begay opened fire a second time, striking the residence while the occupants ran back inside.

At sentencing, Begay faces between seven and 10 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Alexander M.M. Uballez, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Albuquerque Field Office, made the announcement today.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Police Department and Navajo Department of Criminal Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew J. McGinley is prosecuting the case.

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Updated April 5, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 24-132