Four accused in insurance company robbery face federal charges | USAO-NM

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Four New Mexico defendants face federal charges, accused of robbing an insurance company in Gallup, New Mexico.

According to court records, on December 4, 2021, Amber Yazzie, 27, of Gamerco, New Mexico, Gregory Yazzie, 26, of Gallup, Randy Joe, 43, of Vanderwagen, New Mexico, and Chadyne Tohe allegedly stole C&R Insurance in Gallup. As Amber Yazzie, Gregory Yazzie and Tohe entered the office, Amber Yazzie allegedly fired a handgun bullet into the ceiling, pointed the gun at the C&R employees and ordered the employees to raise their hands and demanded money. After taking the money, the group allegedly fled in a vehicle driven by Joe.

On December 6, 2021, law enforcement responded to a report that Yazzie was traveling to Gallup from a specific location. Officers encountered a car matching the description of the vehicle Yazzie was allegedly traveling in and began her pursuit. The vehicle was allegedly traveling at high speed, sometimes over 100 miles per hour and in the wrong lane, and the headlights had been turned off. A gun was reportedly fired from the vehicle and officers broke off from pursuit to avoid being hit by gunfire. Law enforcement then located the vehicle behind a residence in Vanderwagen.

A federal grand jury indicted the defendants on February 24. Amber Yazzie appeared in federal court for a preliminary and detention hearing on December 15, 2021 and will remain detained pending trial. Gregory Yazzie was arrested on March 9 and will remain in custody pending trial. Joe was arrested on March 4. The court ordered that Joe remain detained pending sleeping space at La Pasada Halfway House and COVID quarantine requirements. Tohe made a first appearance in federal court on March 24. Tohe will remain in custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for March 28.

The four defendants are charged with interfering in commerce by threat of violence. Amber Yazzie and Gregory Yazzie are charged with using a firearm in a violent crime. Amber Yazzie is also charged with assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to cause bodily harm and knowingly using a firearm in a violent crime.

An indictment is only an allegation. Defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty.

If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison for obstructing trade by threat of violence. Amber and Gregory Yazzie face a minimum of five years and up to life in prison for possession of a firearm in a violent crime. Amber Yazzie faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison for discharging a firearm in a violent crime.

The Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Nation Public Safety Department, Navajo Nation Police Department, Gallup Police Department and the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas J. Marshall is prosecuting the case.

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Justin D. O'Neill