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Press Release

Kirtland, N.M., Man Sentenced to Ten Years in Federal Prison for Discharging a Firearm During a Crime of Violence Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Harold Pete, 29, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Kirtland, N.M., was sentenced this afternoon to ten years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.   The sentence was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough, Carol K.O. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the Albuquerque Division of the FBI, and John Billison, Director of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.

Pete was arrested on Jan. 1, 2013, and was charged in a criminal complaint with assault with a dangerous weapon, use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and aggravated burglary.  He has been in federal custody since his arrest.

In April 2013, Pete entered a guilty plea to a criminal information charging him with the use and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to an assault with a dangerous weapon.  In his plea agreement, Pete admitted discharging a firearm during an assault on Dec. 30, 2012.  Pete admitted firing a shotgun at the door of his estranged wife’s residence in Ojo Amarillo, N.M., which is in the Navajo Indian Reservation, and discharging the shotgun again after he was inside the residence.  At the time, two women, including his estranged wife, and four minor children were in the residence.

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, and was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Adams.

The case was brought pursuant to the Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Tribal SAUSA) Pilot Project which is sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women, and seeks to train tribal prosecutors in federal law, procedure and investigative techniques to increase the likelihood that every viable violent offense against Native women is prosecuted in either federal court or tribal court, or both.  The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project was largely driven by input gathered from annual tribal consultations on violence against women, and is another step in the Justice Department's on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities.

Updated January 26, 2015