Agencies coordinate on sex offender check

Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, July 05, 2012

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W INDOW ROCK - Navajo Nation Police, along with law enforcement officials from the U.S. Marshall's Office and the McKinley County Sheriff's Office, conducted an operation on June 16 and 17 to make sure that sex offenders are living where they say they are.

Called Operation Community Clean-up, officers targeted sex offenders living in McKinley County who were currently registered as sex offenders.

The officers visited a total of 94 homes and were able to find 89 of the people who were required to register as sex offenders.

Tribal, county and marshall officials are conducting investigations to determine where the other five are living since state and federal law requires sex offenders to report any change of address within 30 days.

At the same time, officers searched for people who had outstanding warrants and made three arrests, one on a federal warrant and two on state warrants.

The tribal officers involved in the operation were all from the Crownpoint District. The operation was part of the tribe's Safe Neighborhood program, which is geared to controlling problems with drugs, gangs, guns, domestic violence and related crimes.

Tractor, trailer and truck stolen

LoRenzo Bates, chairman of the Council's Budget and Finance Committee, said Wednesday he received a report from officials at the Shiprock irrigation program of a major robbery over the weekend.

Irrigation officials reported that a caterpillar tractor, as well as a flatbed trailer and the truck that pulls it, were stolen over the weekend.

"It looks like it was a professional job," said Bates.

Firefighters mopping up at fire sites

BIA forestry officials reported Tuesday that firefighters were still working on five of the 11 forest fires started by a lightning storm last week.

Pat Willeto, a senior forestry official, said the areas that were still being looked over along with the size of the fire were:

  • Crystal Creek, 40 acres.
  • Toadalena Lake, 12 acres.
  • West of Fluted Rock, 77 acres.
  • Fluted Rock Lake, 30 acres
  • Chuska area, 7 acres.

Firefighters were in the final stages of work in and were mostly looking for hot embers, which were still present in some areas, Willeto said.

The fire suppression effort was helped on Tuesday and Wednesday by intermittent rain showers.

Man pleads guilty to axe murder

ALBUQUERQUE - MacArthur Cooke, 37, a member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Pinedale, N.M., entered a guilty plea Feb. 9 to an indictment charging him with second-degree murder under a plea agreement, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Cooke pleaded guilty to killing Vivian Watson, a 29-year-old Navajo woman, on Jan. 13, 2012, in Vanderwagen, N.M.

According to court filings, Cooke used an axe to kill Watson, his girlfriend of two years. In entering his guilty plea, Cooke admitted that, during an argument with Watson, he killed her by deliberately hitting her in the head with an axe.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Cooke will be sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment to be followed by up to five years of supervised release.

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