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Press Release

Shiprock Woman Charged with Federal Firearms Offense

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

ALBUQUERQUE – A Shiprock woman was charged by indictment with straw purchase of a firearm which was later used in a murder following a violent day-long crime spree in Gallup, New Mexico.

Brittania Navaho, 28, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, appeared before a federal judge and will remain in custody pending trial, which has not been scheduled.

According to the indictment, on April 24, 2024, Navaho knowingly purchased a firearm on behalf of another person, knowing that person intended to use the firearm in furtherance of a felony.

If convicted of the current charges, Navaho faces up to 25 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Alexander M.M. Uballez, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, made the announcement today.

The Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from Navajo Nation Police Department, the Navajo Nation Department of Criminal Investigations and the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney R. Eliot Neal is prosecuting the case.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Regional Outreach Program, which aims to aid in the prevention and response to missing or murdered Indigenous people through the resolution of MMIP cases and communication, coordination, and collaboration with federal, Tribal, state, and local partners.  The Department views this work as a priority for its law enforcement components.  Through the MMIP Regional Outreach Program, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify MMIP cases and issues in Tribal communities and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. This prosecution upholds the Department’s mission to the unwavering pursuit of justice on behalf of Indigenous victims and their families.

This case was prosecuted under the new criminal provisions of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which Congress enacted and the President signed in June 2022. The Act is the first federal statute specifically designed to target the unlawful trafficking and straw-purchasing of firearms.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated June 18, 2024

Firearms Offenses
Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 24-219