Two Navajo Men Plead Guilty to Federal Assault Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 08, 2010|
Earlier today, Jarin Scott, 20, a Shiprock resident, entered a guilty plea to a federal assault with a deadly weapon charge before United States Magistrate Judge Lorenzo F. Garcia. Scott's co-defendant, 19-year-old Chancey Begay, also of Shiprock, entered a similar guilty plea before Magistrate Judge Garcia on December 7, 2010. Scott and Begay are both enrolled members of the Navajo Nation.
United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that the charges against Scott and Begay stemmed from a drive-by shooting that occurred on April 12, 2010, in Shiprock, New Mexico. According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, Begay drove Scott to a housing complex in Shiprock at Scott's request. As Begay drove through the complex, Scott fired a shotgun twice into an apartment that was the residence of the brother of Scott’s estranged girlfriend. Two adults and three children were in the apartment when Scott fired the shots. An officer of the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety (NNDPS) heard the shots ring out and pulled over Begay’s vehicle moments after the shooting. NNDPS officers seized the firearm used in the crime from inside Begay's vehicle and arrested Begay and Scott on tribal charges. Begay and Scott were taken into federal custody by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on April 27, 2010 and April 29, 2010, respectively. Scott and Begay are both in federal custody pending sentencing. Each faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment, a maximum $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the NNDPS, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jack E. Burkhead.