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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 22, 2020

Previously convicted felon from the Navajo Nation arraigned on federal charge of illegally possessing firearm

             ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Carlton Craig Sandoval, 38, of Window Rock, A.Z., appeared in federal court in Albuquerque on May 20 for an arraignment on an indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition in Indian Country.

             A federal grand jury returned an indictment on May 12 charging Sandoval with this offense.  According to the indictment and other public court records, Sandoval allegedly committed this offense in McKinley County on Jan. 1. That day, police encountered Sandoval after responding to a 911 call from Navajo, New Mexico reporting a fight outside a group of homes. Officers found Sandoval at the scene sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle where he allegedly refused to comply with an officer’s questions. Sandoval allegedly grew agitated and refused to comply with officer requests while also making suspicious movements in the vehicle. When another officer arrived at the scene and approached the passenger side of Sandoval’s vehicle, the officer observed an open beer can and a brown rifle with a scope on the front passenger seat. Sandoval was prohibited from possessing firearms at this time based on previous felony convictions.

            The FBI arrested Sandoval on March 16, 2020 in Gallup, New Mexico. He faces up to ten years in prison if convicted of the charged offense. An indictment is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

            The Albuquerque office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated this case with assistance from the Window Rock Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Flores is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 
20-086
Updated May 22, 2020