Navajo Nation man pleads guilty to violent carjacking

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico – Brandon Barber, a 38-year-old Fruitland man and enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, pleaded guilty in federal court to his involvement in a violent carjacking incident. The plea includes charges of threatening a driver, brandishing a weapon, stealing his vehicle and initiating a high-speed police chase.

On May 9, 2022, the incident began when Barber’s co-defendant, Lindsey Yazzie, threw a large rock at the windshield of a Jeep driven by Jane Doe, forcing it to stop. Barber then attacked the vehicle with a machete and hatchet, smashing the windshield and windows. Subsequently, Barber and Yazzie both forcibly removed Jane Doe from her vehicle, after which Barber stole the Jeep and nearly hit Jane Doe with it as he fled the scene.

The Navajo Police Department engaged in a high-speed pursuit of Barber, which ultimately ended due to concerns for public safety.

Barber now faces a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, followed by up to three years of supervised release. He remains in detention awaiting a sentence which has not yet been set.

This case was investigated by the Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI, the Navajo Police Department, and the Navajo Department of Criminal Investigation. United States Attorney Alexander MM Uballez and FBI Special Agent Raul Bujanda announced details of the case. Assistant United States Attorney Robert James Booth II is prosecuting.

Lindsey Yazzie is scheduled to go to trial on July 8, 2024.