FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 14, 2021
ILLEGAL DRAG RACING CAUSES ROAD CLOSURE ON NAPI PROPERTY
FARMINGTON, NM – The Huerfano community and Navajo Agricultural Products Industry (“NAPI”) are working together to prevent the illegal drag racing occurring on Navajo Route 4178.
The route is east and westbound in Block 9 of the NAPI farm and near the community of Huerfano. The route is owned and operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Department of Transportation.
In an email dated Oct. 19, Council Delegate Mark Freeland expressed his concerns to the Navajo Nation Division of Transportation, NAPI executives, and Huerfano Chapter officials referencing the illegal drag racing.
“It seems the racers show when we don’t expect, we are in constant contact of informing our Navajo Police Department/Shiprock and Crownpoint Districts,” wrote Delegate Freeland. “The health, safety, and well-being of our Navajo people needs to continue to be our priority.”
NAPI Chief Executive Officer Dave Zeller says, “The drag racing is ongoing every weekend and all we can do is contact the police department.” The route is used to maintain the canals and pumping plants for the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project; or to transport alfalfa, corn, beans, and wheat across the 72,000-acre farm.
On Nov. 9, BIA-DOT led the operation and closed 2.5 miles of N4178 by installing jersey barriers and signage. The San Juan County Sheriff Department and New Mexico State Police are assisting when the Navajo Nation Police Department is unavailable. The closure is expected to end on Feb. 28.
Anyone with information regarding the illegal racing at NAPI is asked to contact the Navajo Nation Police Department at 505-786-2050.
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