Sanostee man pleads guilty to arson

The Daily Times staff

FARMINGTON – A 28-year-old Sanostee man pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to an arson charge on allegations he burned down his girlfriend's residence in Sanostee in May.


An unidentified woman contacted 911 on the evening of May 9 to report that Derek C. Toledo was attempting to rape her at her residence in Sanostee, according to a criminal complaint. Navajo police officers met the woman at the Sanostee Chapter House, where she told officers that her house was on fire when she fled, the complaint states.

The San Juan County Fire Department responded to the woman's residence, located approximately 1.6 miles north of the chapter house, and found it fully engulfed in flames, according to the complaint. The woman told detectives Toledo had threatened to burn down the house earlier in the day.

Toledo turned himself in on May 10 after allegedly admitting he torched the house using charcoal lighter fluid, according to the complaint. He told detectives he was drunk on vanilla extract on the night of the incident.

Toledo faces a maximum sentence of life in federal prison at sentencing.