Shiprock, N.M., Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Assault and Firearms Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – Raydell Billy, 22, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pled guilty this morning to assault and firearms charges under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Billy was arrested on Jan. 16, 2013, on a criminal complaint charging him with assault and firearms offenses. On Feb. 6, 2013, Billy was indicted and charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, assault with a dangerous weapon; and using a firearm during a crime of violence. Billy was charged with committing these offenses on the Navajo Indian Reservation in San Juan County, N.M., on Nov. 15, 2012 and Jan. 12, 2013.
Today, Billy pled guilty to a criminal information charging him with assault with a dangerous weapon and using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. In entering his guilty plea, Billy admitted that on Jan. 12, 2013, he assaulted a family member with a .22 caliber Winchester rifle by pointing the rifle at the victim and pulling the trigger. Billy also admitted hitting the victim in the head with the butt-stock of the rifle.
Billy has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. Billy faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison for the assault with a dangerous weapon charge. He also faces a mandatory five year in prison term on the firearms charge that must be served consecutive to any prison sentence imposed on the assault charge.
The case was investigated by the Albuquerque and Farmington offices of the FBI and the Shiprock Division of the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Mysliwiec.