Navajo Man Pleads Guilty to Assault and Firearms Charges Involving Tribal and Federal Officers
ALBUQUERQUE—Jarod Martin, 35, a member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Crownpoint, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to assault and firearms charges arising out of the March 2, 2015, assault of two Navajo Nation tribal police officers, one of whom was commissioned as a special federal officer by the BIA. The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division, and Director Jesse Delmar of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.
“Acts of aggression and violence against those who are dedicated to serving and protecting our communities will not be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez. “The Justice Department is committed to working with its law enforcement partners to ensure that those who seek to harm officers who are on the job are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect their communities. Any act of violence against these brave men and women deserves to be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade. “The FBI is proud to have worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety on this important case.”
“On behalf of the Navajo Nation, we are grateful to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the Navajo Nation law enforcement officers who participated in bringing justice to the victims in this case,” said Director Jesse Delmar of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.
Martin was arrested on March 10, 2015, on a criminal complaint alleging assaults on a federal officer and a tribal police officer. Martin was subsequently indicted and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a federal officer, being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, and two counts of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. At the time of his arrest, Martin was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of a felony crime.
According to court filings, Martin assaulted two officers of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, including one who is a federal officer because he holds a Special Law Enforcement Commission from the BIA, on March 2, 2015, in McKinley County, N.M. Martin assaulted the tribal police officer by shooting at the officer as he attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Martin’s vehicle. After a vehicle pursuit that ended when Martin’s vehicle got stuck on the side of the road, Martin continued his flight on foot. Two tribal police officers, including one who was federally commissioned, were able to track Martin to a ravine where he pointed a firearm at the officers as they attempted to apprehend him. Martin was arrested after one of the officers shot Martin in the foot.
During today’s proceedings, Martin pled guilty to assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a federal officer with a deadly weapon, being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, and discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.
At sentencing, Martin faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in prison on the assault charge; a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for assaulting a federal officer; and a statutory maximum penalty of ten years for the felon in possession of firearms and ammunition charge. Martin also faces a statutory mandatory minimum of ten years in prison for the discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence charge, which must be served consecutive to any sentence imposed on the other three charges. Martin remains in federal custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Gallup office of the FBI and the Crownpoint office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Raquel Ruiz-Velez.