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2 Navajo Nation members face charges for illicit marijuana grows

Navajo Nation law enforcement has charged two tribal members with illegally growing marijuana on tribal lands in New Mexico.

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Prosecutors announced the charges Jan. 4 against Dineh Benally and Farley BlueEyes, alleging they operated a massive grow near Shiprock, according to the Navajo-Hopi Observer.

The men are expected to be arraigned in late January, the newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, New Mexico cannabis regulators revoked the license of a marijuana facility operator linked with Benally.

The license of Native American Agricultural Development Co. (NAADC), located in Torrance County, was revoked for eight alleged violations, including growing too many plants, failure to comply to security and chain of custody procedures, and poor pest and refuse management.

The NAADC’s operation in another part of New Mexico was raided in 2000. That facility shuttered after the Navajo Department of Justice sued Benally.

Separately, Chinese immigrant workers also sued Benally, alleging they were required to do illegal work trimming flower on the Navajo Nation.

Benally had previously been charged for interference with judicial proceedings as well, the Navajo-Hopi Observer reported.

But those charges “were dismissed in December as those cases were set to go to trial,” a lawyer who has represented Benally told the news outlet.


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