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Press Release

U.S. Attorney, Albuquerque FBI Charge Third Individual Connected to Violent Day-Long Crime Spree in Gallup

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

ALBUQUERQUE – A Little Water man was charged by criminal complaint following a violent crime spree on the Navajo Nation, which involved a series of shootings and murder.

Dewayne George, 22, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, appeared before a federal judge today and will remain on conditions of release pending trial, which has not been scheduled.

According to the criminal complaint, on April 24, 2024, a family traveling south on U.S. Highway 491 reported to law enforcement that they had been followed, rear-ended, and shot at by someone sitting in the front passenger seat of a white SUV.

Navajo Nation Police Department officers in the area were on the lookout for an SUV matching the description when they observed the vehicle driving southbound on U.S. Highway 491. Officers pursued the vehicle, which attempted to evade them before crashing. The officers took all three individuals in the vehicle into custody, later determined to be George, Rydell Happy, 30, and Brittania Navaho, 28.

Further investigation revealed that earlier that day, George, Happy, and Navaho had been involved in a separate shooting incident in Gallup, New Mexico. Additionally, they were implicated in the murder of an individual identified as John Doe.

Navaho was charged by indictment with straw purchase of the firearm used to murder John Doe and will remain in custody pending trial. If convicted, Navaho faces 25 years in prison.

Happy was charged by criminal complaint with second degree murder and will remain in custody pending trial. If convicted of the current charges, Happy faces life years in prison.

If convicted of the current charges, George faces up to 15 years in prison.

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.

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

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Updated July 9, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-232