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Press Release

Shiprock Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Assault Charges

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Dexter Dez, 28, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to an indictment charging him with two assault offenses.  Dez entered his guilty plea without the benefit of any plea agreement.

Dez was arrested on July 11, 2013, on a criminal complaint alleging that he assaulted a non-Indian man on May 17, 2013, at a residence in Two Gray Hills, N.M., which is within the Navajo Indian Reservation.  Dez subsequently was indicted and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

According to court filings, on the night of May 17, 2013, an intoxicated Dez entered the victim’s residence and punched him in the left eye with a box cutter.  Dez then fled from the residence.  The victim’s eyelids were severed as a result of the assault.  The victim has had to undergo surgery to repair his eyelids and will require further surgery, including skin grafts.

Dez has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.  At sentencing, Dez faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison.

This case was investigated by the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and the Farmington office of the FBI, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine Y. Ramirez.

Updated January 26, 2015