Police, fire officials to enforce fireworks ban

Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, June 28, 2012

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T he Navajo Nation's Division of Public Safety has issued warnings that Navajo police and fire officials will be setting up roadblocks to enforce the prohibition on fireworks.

Fireworks are banned on the reservation, a law that has been ignored by many reservation residents in past years who buy their fireworks at stands located, in some cases, just yards from the reservation border.

This year, with drought conditions in every section of the reservation at its worse level in years, public safety officials said that any fireworks found in vehicles will be confiscated and destroyed on the spot.

Extra patrols will also be out on July 3 and 4 and anyone found with fireworks on the reservation is liable to be cited.


Fort Defiance man beaten

A report of an aggravated battery of a Fort Defiance man was filed on June 26.

The victim, Carlos Deschene, 30, told police that after an evening of drinking on March 9, he was attacked by four men in the area of Black Rock Acres in Fort Defiance.

He gave police the first name of one of the suspects - Terry - but not of any of the others.

Police said during the altercation, Deschene was "punched, kicked and clubbed in the head." He received a laceration to the scalp, a shattered

nose and bruises and was taken to the Tséhootsoí Medical Center where he was treated and released.

The police report said that none of the subjects involved in beating up Deschene have been located.


Sanders man arrested for battery

Another report filed on June 26 deals with an aggravated battery that occurred in the Wide Ruins, Ariz., area on April 10.

In this case, they were two victims - LaTanya Largo Joe, 32, and Marlin Martin, 45, both of Sanders, Ariz.

According to the police report, Tyrone Martin, 36, of Sanders, after an afternoon of drinking got into an argument with his brother, Marlin. Joe attempted to intervene by calling the police.

Marlin Martin sustained a broken ankle during the altercation but had left the scene when police arrived.

Joe told police that Tyrone Martin had gotten mad that she had called police and had battered her as well as threatened to kill her by putting a knife to her throat.

Tyrone Martin was placed under arrest on tribal charges.



Lupton man arrested for threatening phone call

A Lupton, Ariz., man was arrested after he made a phone call to the Window Rock police district and threatened to kill one of the officers.

A police report filed on June 26 said the phone call came from Derrick Billy, no age given, on May 4. The report also stated that Billy had been drinking at the time he made the phone call.

The department's tactical squad was called out to make the arrest and Billy was charged with making a threatening phone call.


Details of crash released

Navajo police reported on June 26 the details of a fatal accident that occurred on April 25 near Fort Defiance.

The report listed the victims as Calvin Footracer, no age given, of Chinle, and Hanson Turgovia Sr., no age or address given.

Both victims were ejected during the accident, which occurred on Navajo Route 12 on April 26.

A police investigation revealed that the vehicle had run off the road at a curve and had gone airborne after hitting a culvert. The vehicle then "tumbled" back on the roadway.

Police said they were not able to determine who had been driving the vehicle at the time of the accident. The police report also stated that there was evidence of alcoholic beverages at the scene.


Man pleads guilty to sexual abuse

ALBUQUERQUE - Johnson John, 65, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Church Rock, N.M., pleaded guilty June 26 to an aggravated sexual abuse charge under a plea agreement, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

John admitted that, between May 1, 2000, and Sept. 1, 2000, he attempted to sexually assault a 12-year-old female child.

The plea agreement states that John lured the child victim into his home by telling her that the children she was looking for were in his home.

Once inside, John physically forced the child victim onto a couch, removed her pants and underwear, and positioned himself on top of the child victim. John did not complete the sexual assault on the child victim because he noticed another child watching through the window.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, John will be sentenced to five years of imprisonment to be followed by at least five years of supervised release. He also will be required to register as a sex offender.


Guilty plea in machete death

ALBUQUERQUE - Adrian Chavez, 22, a member and resident of Kewa Pueblo, entered a guilty plea June 25 to an information charging him with second degree murder under a plea agreement, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Chavez pleaded guilty to killing Nevin Garcia, a 20-year-old member of Kewa Pueblo, with a machete on Oct. 21, 2009.

The indictment also charged two co-defendants, Derrick Chavez, 25, and Myron Garcia, 22, both of Kewa Pueblo, as accessories after the fact.

According to the criminal complaint, the Bureau of Indian Affairs learned about Nevin Garcia's murder when Adrian Chavez turned himself into the Kewa Pueblo Tribal Office on Oct. 21, 2009.

Investigation revealed that, earlier that evening, all four men were drinking alcoholic beverages on a plot of land located within Kewa Pueblo that had a mobile home and camper trailer.

At a time when Derrick Garcia and Myron Chavez were inside the trailer, Adrian Chavez and Nevin Garcia started arguing. As Derrick Chavez and Myron Garcia came out of the trailer, they saw Adrian Chavez strike Nevin Garcia in the face with a machete. Nevin Chavez was unresponsive after he was struck with the machete.

The criminal complaint further alleged that Derrick Chavez and Myron Garcia assisted Adrian Chavez remove Nevin Garcia's clothing, wrap him in a plastic tarp, and place him in the back of a pickup truck.

The three men then drove to a location a short distance from the mobile home and trailer and buried Nevin Garcia.

On June 26, Derrick Chavez and Myron Garcia entered guilty pleas to being accessories after the fact to second-degree murder. Each man faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release.

At sentencing, Adrian Chavez faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.


Fruitland man sentenced for firearms charge

ALBUQUERQUE - Donovan Cortez, 34, a member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Fruitland, N.M., was sentenced June 25 to two years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Cortez was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition because he previously had been convicted of attempted aggravated assault on a peace officer in the Eleventh Judicial District Court of New Mexico in San Juan County.

Cortez will be on supervised release for two years after completing his prison sentence.


Man sentenced for assault

ALBUQUERQUE - Abram C. Castillo, 22, a member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Lybrook, N.M., was sentenced June 21 to two years in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release for his conviction on an assault resulting in serious bodily injury charge, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Court filings reflect that Castillo assaulted another Navajo man on April 8, 2011, at his residence in Lybrook.

Castillo and his victim were both intoxicated when the two men began an argument that escalated into a physical altercation when the victim kicked Castillo in the head.

Castillo responded by hitting the victim in the head with a sledgehammer and stabbing the victim with a knife. The victim sustained sinus orbital fractures, a large bruise on the back of the head, and four stabs wounds including two that punctured the lungs as a result of Castillo's assault.

Castillo was ordered to pay $128,759.16 in restitution, including $125,431.14 to the San Juan Regional Medical Center to cover the victim's medical costs, and $2,543.75 to cover the victim's lost wages.

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