Navajo Man from Arizona Sentenced for Assaulting Federally Commissioned Tribal Officer in New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE – Michael Nakai, 33, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Red Valley, Ariz., was sentenced yesterday afternoon in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 12 months in prison for assaulting a federal officer. Nakai will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.
Nakai was charged by criminal complaint in Oct. 2016, with assaulting a tribal police officer of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety who was commissioned as a Special Law Enforcement Officer by the BIA’s Office of Justice Services. According to the complaint, Nakai assaulted the officer by kicking the officer in the face during a traffic stop. Nakai subsequently was indicted on Nov. 15, 2016, and was charged with assaulting a federal officer on Oct. 9, 2016, in San Juan County, N.M.
On Nov. 8, 2017, Nakai pled guilty to the indictment. In entering the guilty plea, Nakai admitted that on Oct. 9, 2016, he assaulted a federal officer by kicking and striking the officer in the head while the officer was arresting him for driving under the influence of alcohol.
This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Murphy prosecuted the case.