Police Blotter: Crownpoint man faces murder charge


Blaine Charles Morgan, 35, of Crownpoint, is facing a federal murder charge in connection with a stabbing that occurred on the Navajo Nation. The FBI and Navajo Nation Criminal Investigations on July 13 arrested Morgan, who was in Navajo custody.

Morgan is charged in a complaint and an indictment with the March 29 death of an adult male in Church Rock, New Mexico. Morgan had an initial appearance via teleconference in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque on Tuesday. A preliminary/detention hearing is scheduled for Thursday. Navajo Nation Criminal Investigations assisted with the investigation.

‘Disturbance,’ not riot, reported by San Juan Co.

FARMINGTON – On the afternoon of July 13, prisoners at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center became agitated and started fires in two pods, according to a news release from San Juan County.

Law enforcement was called in and the situation was ended with only one injury to report. Starting Sunday afternoon, detainees demanded to talk to administration officials.

They presented concerns about receiving only one hot meal a day and not receiving coronavirus tests or test results. The ADC administrator attempted to explain answers to detainee concerns. Staff worked to deescalate the situation and provide for safety of detainees and security within the facility. For the last week, detainees have only received one hot meal per day.

The reduction of daily hot meals is due to a lack of available detainees to cook the meals. There are two shifts of 6 to 7 detainees who work in the kitchen to provide meals for the facility. Low population in the facility has forced the temporary change. ADC staff is currently following New Mexico Department of Health guidance for testing.

Only detainees who have previously tested negative are being retested. NMDOH informs those who are tested by text message or letter. Monday morning, the disturbance continued and detainees refused their sack lunches. ADC staff said that sack lunches provide material to ferment alcohol and detainees were illegally producing and consuming alcohol.

Staff regularly checks for contraband of this nature and recovered some. Again, the ADC administrator attempted to converse with detainees in B6, however the administrator was assaulted and a taser was deployed.

Then detainees broke a fire sprinkler head off in the bathroom, flooding the pod. ADC staff moved out of the pod at that time. The fire suppression system was turned off.

Detainees later lit a pile of blankets on fire in the B6 pod. Staff turned the fire suppression system back on and Farmington Fire Department was dispatched. The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office and Farmington SWAT teams were also dispatched. The unrest continued in the B5 pod, where detainees started another fire and broke apart a bunk and used it as a battering ram to attempt to break down a fire door.

ADC staff worked with the police agencies to remove detainees from both pods one by one, and non-compliant detainees were placed in lockdown. “At no time did detainees control any part of the facility,” the county said. “It is important to call this incident a disturbance, rather than a riot.”

About 35 detainees were involved in the incident. There was only one detainee injured and transported to the hospital with minor injuries. The ADC will be referring the incidents to the sheriff’s office for review and additional charges.

As of the morning of Monday, July 13, there were 345 detainees in custody, 147 of whom had tested positive for coronavirus. The positive detainees have been quarantined in five pods.

Navajo Co. sheriff’s report, July 12-18

HOLBROOK – The Navajo County Sheriff’s Office reports the following activity from July 12 through 18.

• On July 13, deputies arrested Rondale Gonzales, 42, of Leupp, Arizona, for threatening, resisting arrest, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and a warrant for failure to comply with a court order. He was booked into the NCSO Jail in Holbrook.

• On July 13, deputies arrested Lena Thompson, 56, of Indian Wells, Arizona, for assault (domestic violence) and booked into the Navajo County Jail.

• On July 15, deputies stopped Calbert Smith, 30, of Chinle for driving 98 mph in a 65 mph zone. He was arrested and released on the scene for criminal speed to exceed 20 mph over the posted limit.

• On July 18, deputies arrested Jaylynn Arviso, 22, of Winslow, for possession of an open liquor container in a vehicle.


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