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Press Release

Navajo Man from Shiprock Pleads Guilty to Federal Involuntary Manslaughter and Assault Charges

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Travis Arthur Mustache, 34, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pled guilty this morning in Albuquerque, N.M., to federal involuntary manslaughter and assault charges.


Mustache was arrested in March 2017, on an indictment charging him with involuntary manslaughter and assault resulting in serious bodily injury. According to the complaint, Mustache killed one victim and seriously injured another while driving his vehicle under the influence of alcohol on the Navajo Indian Reservation in San Juan County, N.M., on June 15, 2016.


During today’s proceedings, Mustache pled guilty to the indictment and admitted killing one victim and assaulting the second victim, causing her to sustain serious bodily injury, by driving recklessly while under the influence of alcohol. Mustache acknowledged that the alcohol rendered him incapable of exercising clear judgment and a steady hand in operating the vehicle. According to plea agreement, the second victim suffered from rib fractures, a liver laceration, bruised lung tissue and scalp bruises.


At sentencing, Mustache faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison. A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.


This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI, the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and the New Mexico State Police and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Mease.

Updated April 11, 2017

Indian Country Law and Justice