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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 22, 2018

Navajo Man from Gallup Sentenced to Prison for Making False Statements to the FBI

Defendant Lied About Brother’s Role in Murder of Navajo Man

ALBUQUERQUE – Bronson Tony, 45, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Gallup, N.M., was sentenced today in Santa Fe, N.M., federal court to a six-month term of imprisonment followed by one year of supervised release for making false statements to the FBI.

Bronson Tony was charged in a felony information filed on Aug. 14, 2017, with making a false statement to the FBI on May 14, 2016 and June 2, 2016.  The information alleged that Bronson Tony falsely represented to the FBI that he and others did not accompany Brian Tony, 46,of Gallup, and a male victim to an area on the Navajo Indian Reservation in McKinley County, N.M., on May 8, 2016, where the male victim was later murdered.

Bronson Tony entered a guilty plea to the felony information on Aug. 14, 2017, and admitted that on May 8, 2016, Brian Tony, the victim, he and others drove to an area on the Navajo Indian Reservation called “Superman Canyon.”  Bronson Tony stated that he did not leave the vehicle or see what occurred outside of the vehicle, and kept the victim’s friend from leaving the vehicle after the victim and Brian Tony were heard yelling outside of the vehicle.  Brian Tony later re-entered the vehicle without the victim. 

In his plea agreement, Bronson Tony admitted that on May 14, 2016, when he was interviewed by an FBI agent regarding the victim’s death, he made false statements regarding his whereabouts on May 8, 2016 and May 9, 2016.  Specifically Bronson Tony denied accompanying Brian Tony to “Superman Canyon,” and claimed that Brian Tony injured his arm on barbed wire.  Bronson Tony further admitted that on June 2, 2016, during a subsequent interview with an FBI agent regarding the victim’s death, he made false statements regarding the individuals present at the time of the victim’s death.

A federal jury found Brian Tony guilty of first degree murder and two counts of witness tampering on Sept. 30, 2017.  At sentencing, Brian Tony faces a statutory mandatory sentence of life imprisonment. 

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque and Gallup offices of the FBI.  The case against Brian Tony was also investigated by the Albuquerque and Gallup offices of the FBI and the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.  Both cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph M. Spindle and Nicholas J. Marshall.

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Component(s): 
Updated February 22, 2018