More Bootlegging Suspects Nabbed on Navajo Nation

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (LAWFUEL) – Additional arrests last weekend brought the total to 27 people who have been charged with bootlegging on the Navajo Nation after a 4-month long investigation. The arrests were made over three weekends in July and August by officers of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety with assistance by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The 18 men and 9 women arrested range in age from 25 to 70.

“I appreciate the long term investigative efforts of the Navajo Nation’s Division of Public Safety who received support from the Federal Bureau of Investigation during this operation,” stated U.S. Attorney Diane J. Humetewa. “The use of alcohol or drugs in Northern Arizona plays a significant role in the commission of violent crimes in Indian Country which are prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Together we are committed to reducing and preventing violent crime on the Navajo Nation.”

“Conducting these investigations and making these cases takes a tremendous amount of work and coordination among the agencies involved,” Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley, Jr., said. “I again express my appreciation to U.S. Attorney Diane Humetewa, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Lodge and their office, the FBI and the Drug and Navajo Nation’s Drug and Gang Enforcement Unit for their diligent work to make our communities safer, and bring the crime rate down through this work.”

The accompanying chart provides the names and information on each of the 27 arrested. A conviction for bootlegging, a Class A misdemeanor, carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and/or up to a $100,000 fine. Those who have pleaded guilty as of August 6, 2008 have been placed on supervised probation for one to two years. All of them must also complete 100 hours of community service. For more information on each specific case, please visit the federal judiciary’s site for electronic records at

The investigation preceding the complaints was conducted by the Gang Enforcement Unit of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety with assistance from the FBI. The prosecution is being handled by Joseph Lodge, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Flagstaff.

RELEASE NUMBER: 2008-191(Navajo Bootlegging)

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