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Press Release

Sanostee Man Pleads Guilty to Assault

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced today that Melvin C. Smith pled guilty to assault. Smith, 62, of Sanostee, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, will remain on conditions of release pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

According to court records, on Oct. 6, 2022, Smith used a long, hard wooden walking stick to assault his brother-in-law and his brother-in-law’s girlfriend. Smith repeatedly hit his brother-in-law as he shielded his girlfriend from Smith’s blows. The assault caused physical pain to Smith’s brother-in-law and the brother-in-law’s girlfriend.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance of the Navajo Police Department and Department of Criminal Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Zachary C. Jones is prosecuting the case.

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Updated November 29, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-274