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Press Release

Shiprock man facing federal firearms and drug trafficking charges

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

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Jason E. Begay, 40, of Shiprock, New Mexico, made his initial appearance in federal court on Jan. 6 on a two-count indictment charging him with possession with intent to distribute 500 grams and more of methamphetamine and using and carrying a firearm during the commission of a drug trafficking crime. Begay remains in custody pending an arraignment and detention hearing scheduled for Jan. 10.

According to the indictment and other court records, on Nov. 14, 2021, near Morgan Lake on the Navajo Nation, Navajo Police officers responding to a 911 call made contact with Begay who was slumped over his steering wheel. A handgun allegedly was in plain view on the front passenger seat. Begay allegedly led officers in a high-speed pursuit to the south side of Shiprock, where his vehicle became stuck in soft dirt near a fence line. Begay allegedly got out of the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot, but was apprehended by officers. Officers allegedly found Begay in possession of several firearms, ammunition and approximately 6.8 pounds of methamphetamine.

An indictment is only an allegation. A defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Begay faces a minimum of five years and up to lifetime in prison.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office and the Navajo Nation Police Department investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Novaline D. Wilson is prosecuting the case.

Updated January 7, 2022

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 22-2