Albuquerque, New Mexico - Derrick Begay, 33, of Shiprock, New Mexico, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, was sentenced on February 10 in federal court to two years in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release for assault upon a federal officer involving physical contact.
According to Begay’s plea agreement and other court records, on January 22, 2020, a federal special agent with the Bureau of Indian Affairs made contact with Begay on the side of a road in Shiprock on the Navajo Nation. The agent lawfully requested that Begay exit his vehicle, but Begay did not comply. At one point Begay lunged out of his vehicle and hit the agent in the face. Begay got back into his vehicle and fled the scene with law enforcement in pursuit. Begay reached speeds in excess of 100 mph. The weather was poor and there were school buses on the roadway so law enforcement called off the pursuit. Begay was arrested on May 1, 2020.
The Farmington office of the FBI investigated this case along with assistance from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Navajo Nation Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney David P. Cowen prosecuted the case.