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Alleged serial arsonist behind bars

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A Gallup man booked June 29 for improper handling of fire and arson remains in custody as of July 20.

Jerry Brown, 18, came under the suspicion of Gallup police as they investigated an enclosed trailer fire June 17, at 314 Zecca St., which GPD Det. John Yearly noted in his report “that the fire was human caused and...

San Juan County felon sentenced to prison

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Violated federal firearms laws

ALBUQUERQUE – Justin Krantz, 32, of Aztec, N.M., was sentenced July 13 in federal court in Albuquerque to 57 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Krantz arrested in Nov. 2016, on an indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition on May 4, 2016, in San Juan County, N.M. According to the indictment, Krantz was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of his prior conviction on drug trafficking charges.

On April 11, Krantz pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that on May 4, he was in possession of a firearm...

Churchrock man pleads guilty to federal voluntary manslaughter charge

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ALBUQUERQUE – Randy Payton, 35, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Churchrock, N.M., pled guilty July 18, in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a voluntary manslaughter charge. Payton entered the guilty plea under a plea agreement that recommends that he be sentenced to a term of imprisonment within the range of seven to 13 years followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court

Payton was arrested on Oct. 19, 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with killing a Navajo man on the Navajo Indian Reservation in McKinley County on Oct. 14, 2016. According to the criminal complaint, Payton killed the victim by hitting and kicking him...

Man arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting minor

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THOREAU – A Thoreau area man arrested July 17 for criminal sexual contact with a minor was released on a $4,000 cash surety bond July 19.

McKinley County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Lorenzo Guerrero responded to a call regarding another matter. And when he asked a 16-year-old girl about a domestic incident involving her parents, received what’s likely an unexpected response.

The teen told Guerrero that sometime in November Earl Martinez, Jr. forced himself on her.

He had been reportedly drinking when he ran his hands up her thigh and “proceeded to touch her private parts,” Guerrero states in his report.

In addition to being charged with criminal sexual contact with a minor...

Man adds a seventh DWI to his rap sheet

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Hansen Clark nearly caused a wreck, prompting the driver of that vehicle to call the police.

Gallup Police Department Officer Steven Peshlakai caught up with Clark as he headed north on Arnold Street. Peshlakai followed Clark for a short distance, noting that he was averaging speeds of 30 to 40 miles per hour in a 45-m.p.h. speed zone.

Peshlakai signaled for Clark to pullover near 2111 W. Highway 66.

When he approached Clark, sitting in his dark blue Chevy Trailblazer, Peshlakai noted that he had “a flushed look to his face and that his eyes dropped very low.”

The officer asked for his driver’s license and paperwork, but Clark failed to respond, he just waved his hands over...

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