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Justice News

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

Friday, March 4, 2016

Shiprock Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Assault Charge

ALBUQUERQUE – Matthew Yazzie, 26, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to assault charges.

Yazzie was arrested on Sept. 21, 2015, on a federal indictment charging him with assaulting two women and a man on June 13, 2015, in Indian Country in San Juan County, N.M.  According to the indictment, the victims suffered serious bodily injuries as a result of the assaults.

During today’s hearing, Yazzie pled guilty to the indictment without the benefit of a plea agreement.  In its proffer of evidence, the United States indicated that Yazzie assaulted the victims by crashing the vehicle he was driving while under the influence of alcohol. 

At sentencing, Yazzie faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison.  He remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI, the New Mexico State Police and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine Y. Ramirez is prosecuting the case.

Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated March 4, 2016