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Press Release

Gallup man sentenced to 25 years in prison for second degree murder

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, announced that Darrell Desiderio was sentenced on Dec. 16 to 25 years in prison. Desiderio, 45, of Gallup, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, pleaded guilty on July 26, 2021, to second degree murder in Indian Country.

On June 7, 2018, Desiderio and an accomplice, conspired to kidnap a victim, identified as John Doe, and take the victim’s truck. The accomplice lured John Doe to Desiderio to assist Desiderio in acquiring a vehicle. Under the pretense that Desiderio “knew some women who would want to ‘party,’” the accomplice and John Doe picked up Desiderio and drove north of Gallup to a remote area. Desiderio ordered John Doe to pull over and pressed a knife to John Doe’s throat. During a struggle for the keys to the vehicle, Desiderio stabbed John Doe. The victim died as a result of the wounds inflicted by Desiderio. The murder occurred in McKinley County, New Mexico, on the Navajo Nation.

Upon his release from prison, Desiderio will be subject to five years of supervised release.

The Gallup resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Gallup Police Department, McKinley County Sheriff’s Office and the Navajo Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Spindle prosecuted the case.

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Updated December 19, 2022

Violent Crime
Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 22-280