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Press Release

Shiprock Man Sentenced to 44 months in Prison for Federal Firearms Offense

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 that Kendale Johnson was sentenced to 44 months in prison. Johnson, 34, of Shiprock, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition on March 2, 2023.

According to court documents, on the morning of Oct. 22, 2020, Johnson and another individual got into a confrontation at a residence in Shiprock which escalated into a shootout. The other individual fled the scene in a car with Johnson in pursuit. Johnson located the individual’s vehicle in front of a residence in Ojo Amarillo, New Mexico and fired on the residence with a rifle before fleeing the scene with the other individual now in pursuit of him. When the other individual’s vehicle malfunctioned and came to stop, Johnson pulled his vehicle alongside it, exited, and fired into the other vehicle. The occupant escaped the vehicle and fled on foot and was shortly arrested by officers from the Farmington Police Department.

Officers from the Navajo Police Department then began pursuing Johnson, who drove into oncoming traffic and at speeds upwards of 110 MPH while throwing items out of the vehicle. Officers from the Navajo Police Department were eventually able to immobilize Johnson’s vehicle using the PIT maneuver. Officers located 2 rifles and a night vision scope near the vehicle.

In his plea agreement, Johnson admitted to possessing a stock rifle, night vision scope, and 9mm ammunition magazine. At the time of the offense, Johnson had a prior conviction for assault with a dangerous weapon. As a convicted felon, Johnson could not legally possess a firearm or ammunition.

Upon his release from prison, Johnson will be subject to 3 years of supervised release.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Police Department and Department of Criminal Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. McGinley is prosecuting the case.

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Updated December 20, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-293