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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 5, 2015

Two Men from Crownpoint Plead Guilty to Federal Assault Charges

ALBUQUERQUE – Gabriel Largo, 27, and Joshua Largo, 20, both enrolled members of the Navajo Nation who reside in Crownpoint, N.M., pled guilty this morning in federal court to federal assault charges.

Gabriel Largo, Joshua Largo and their co-defendant Michael Benally, 31, a member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Littlewater, N.M., were arrested on Sept. 17, 2014, on a criminal complaint charging them with assaulting a Navajo man with a sledgehammer and a rock and causing him serious bodily injury.  The complaint alleges that the assault took place in the Crownpoint Chapter of the Navajo Nation in McKinley County, N.M., on Sept. 5, 2014.

The three co-defendants subsequently were indicted on Oct. 7, 2014, in a four-count indictment. Count 1 charged Benally with assaulting the victim and causing him serious bodily injury on July 30, 2014.  Count 2 charged Benally, Gabriel Largo and Joshua Largo with conspiring to assault the victim by chasing the victim, throwing rocks at him, kicking him, and striking him with a sledgehammer on Sept. 5, 2014.  Counts 3 and 4 charged the three defendants with assault resulting in serious bodily injury and assault with a dangerous weapon.

During today’s proceedings, Gabriel Largo pled guilty to a felony information charging him with assault, and admitted that on Sept. 5, 2014, he and his co-defendants approached the victim, who was selling firewood.  When the victim ran away from them, Gabriel Largo and his co-defendants chased the victim, threw rocks at him and knocked him down.  The three men then hit and kicked the victim.  In his plea agreement, Gabriel Largo admitted obtaining a sledgehammer from Benally and using it to strike the victim.

Joshua Largo also pled guilty to a felony information and admitted his participation in a conspiracy to assault the victim.  Joshua Largo admitted joining his co-defendants in chasing the victim, throwing rocks at him and knocking him down, and hitting and kicking the victim.

At sentencing, Gabriel Largo faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in prison and Joshua Largo faces a statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison.  Their sentencing hearings have yet to be scheduled.

Benally has entered a plea of not guilty and is pending trial.  Charges in criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusations.  Defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by the Crownpoint office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Linda Mott.

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Updated March 5, 2015