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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 30, 2021

Tsayatoh man charged with federal firearms violation

            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Rumaldo Peshlakai, 40, of Tsayatoh, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, appeared in federal court today for a preliminary hearing on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Peshlakai will remain in custody pending trial.

​            According to a criminal complaint, on Sept. 23, Peshlakai and Jane Doe allegedly were involved in a domestic dispute at a residence in Tsayatoh. Peshlakai allegedly left the residence with their four children. At the time of the incident, Peshlakai allegedly was in possession of a firearm and ammunition. The children, who were unharmed, were recovered by law enforcement. Peshlakai was arrested on Sept. 24.

            Peshlakai was convicted in 2001 of assault by striking, beating or wounding and assault resulting in serious bodily injury, and in 2006 for being a felon in possession of ammunition. As a previously convicted felon, Peshlakai cannot legally possess firearms or ammunition.

            A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Peshlakai faces up to 10 years in prison.

            The Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office and the Navajo Police Department investigated this case with assistance from the FBI Phoenix Field Office, New Mexico State Police, Navajo Police Department, McKinley County Sheriff's Office and Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Aliberti is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 
21-197
Updated September 30, 2021