Kirtland Man Pleads Guilty to Discharging a Firearm During a Crime of Violence
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 09, 2013|
ALBUQUERQUE—Harold Pete, 29, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Kirtland, New Mexico, pled guilty this morning to discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Pete was arrested on January 1, 2013, and was charged in criminal complaint with assault with a dangerous weapon, use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence, and aggravated burglary. According to the criminal complaint, on December 30, 2012, Pete used a shotgun to force his way into his estranged wife’s residence in Ojo Amarillo, which is in the Navajo Indian Reservation. Once inside the residence, Pete assaulted his wife and another Navajo woman by striking them with the shotgun.
During this morning’s proceedings, Pete entered a guilty plea to a criminal information charging him with the use and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to an assault with a dangerous weapon. In his plea agreement, Pete admitted discharging a firearm during an assault on December 30, 2012. Pete admitted firing a shotgun at the door of his estranged wife’s residence and discharging the shotgun again after he was inside the residence. At the time, two women, including his estranged wife, and four minor children were in the residence.
Pete has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. At sentencing, Pete faces a minimum term of 10 years in prison, followed by not more than five years of supervised release.
This case was investigated by the Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI and the Shiprock Office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Adams.
The case was brought pursuant to the Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Tribal SAUSA) Pilot Project, which is sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women and seeks to train tribal prosecutors in federal law, procedure, and investigative techniques to increase the likelihood that every viable violent offense against Native women is prosecuted in either federal court or tribal court or both. The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project was largely driven by input gathered from annual tribal consultations on violence against women and is another step in the Justice Department’s ongoing efforts to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities.