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Leland Begay

Oct. 29, 11:33 pm

Aggravated DWI

McKinley County Sheriff’s Deputy Roane Alan was dispatched to attempt to locate a black Chevy Spark after Metro Dispatch informed him the driver had been refused sales at the Sagebrush liquor store.

The vehicle was reportedly heading east on Highway 264. Alan was patrolling U.S. Highway 491 and headed north to locate the vehicle. He observed a car matching the description going south at the 4.5-mile marker.

Alan turned around and followed, noting the Spark could not maintain its lane as it traveled southbound. After turning on his emergency equipment, the suspect vehicle stopped at the 2-mile marker.

Alan made contact with the driver, Leland Begay, 42, of Chinle, who smelled of alcohol. Alan also noted a bottle of liquor on the dashboard.

When asked if he had been drinking, Begay admitted to having one Coors Light about an hour prior to being pulled over. Begay agreed to the standard field sobriety test, but eventually stopped taking the test and refused to cooperate. He also refused a breath test.

Begay was arrested and booked for driving under the influence and a suspended or revoked license. Two other occupants in the vehicle were transported to Detox.


Darnell Lynn Bennett

Oct. 27, 5:05 pm

Aggravated DWI (1st offense)

McKinley County Sheriff’s Sgt. Tammy Houghtaling was serving as a field training officer with Deputy James Sanchez when they were dispatched to Highway 602 to locate a silver Pontiac Grand Prix that was unable to maintain its lane and was spinning out in the roadway.

Houghtaling spotted the vehicle at the intersection of Highway 602 and Highway 564 going north onto Second Street. Sanchez began to follow the vehicle, which was stopping and going, until it came to a full stop at the intersection of Second Street and Nizhoni Boulevard.

As Sanchez and arriving Deputy Roane Alan made contact with the driver, Darnell Lynn Bennett, 54, of Gallup, Houghtaling checked the passenger side of the vehicle. She noted a strong smell of alcohol both in the vehicle and on Bennett.

Sanchez initiated the standard field sobriety test, which Bennett completed, but failed. Sanchez placed her under arrest for driving while intoxicated and read her the New Mexico Implied Consent Advisory.

Bennett agreed to a breath test and was transported to the sheriff’s office, where she posted samples of .21 and .22. After she was given medical clearance, she was transported to McKinley County Adult Detention Center and booked.


Thomas George

Oct. 25, 10:51 pm

DWI (Ninth offense)

Metro Dispatch issued an attempt-to-locate for a black Buick that was swerving in the lanes of U.S. Highway 491 going south from the Edward O. Plummer interchange.

McKinley County Sheriff’s Deputy Frank Villa Jr. told Dispatch he would attempt to locate the vehicle near South Chino Loop and U.S. Highway 491.

Villa parked at the 3-mile marker and spotted two semi-trucks and a black vehicle traveling southbound. One of the semis honked its horn and the driver pointed to the black Buick SUV in front of it. Villa turned around and began following the SUV.

After the semi slowed down and let Villa get behind the SUV, he followed the suspect vehicle onto South Chino Loop where it stopped on the shoulder. Villa made contact with the driver, Thomas George, 47, of White Rock, N.M.

George would not answer any of Villa’s questions and he did not consent to the standard field sobriety test. After Villa placed George under arrest for driving while intoxicated, Dispatch informed him George had two bench warrants out for his arrest along with eight prior DWI charges.

Sgt. Tammy Houghtaling arrived on scene to deal with a passenger inside George’s vehicle while George was transported to Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services for a blood draw.

After the blood draw was finished, George was then transported to McKinley County Adult Detention Center and booked.