San Juan County man accused of rebranding cattle

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — A San Juan County man is accused of rebranding several cows and calves and a bull that belong to a relative.

Edison Arviso, 70, has been charged with 13 fourth-degree felony counts of unlawful branding, according to the criminal complaint filed on June 17 in Aztec Magistrate Court.

Court records show that he did not have legal representation as of June 30.

According to the probable cause statement, the relative spoke with an inspector from the New Mexico Livestock Board on May 10 about the cattle.

The relative reached out to the inspector as part of follow up on a report the relative made with the agency in 2021. At that time, the relative suspected Arviso used his brand to cover their brand on several cattle but they did not have access to Arviso's ranch in Nageezi until May 10.

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The relative told the inspector the cattle will be removed from Nageezi to Bloomfield. The relative notified the inspector on May 15 that a bull and several cows and calves had been rebranded.

On May 24, the inspector examined the cattle and saw that the relative's brand was covered by the brand belonging to Arviso.

Arviso spoke with the inspector on June 2 as part of the investigation.

He told the inspector that he did not "see the clear brand" and thought the identifying marks were bought with the cattle, the court document states.

He added that he and the relative were not in communication, so he has been taking care of the animals for the last three years.

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Arviso also explained that he could not contact the relative due to them blocking his number and he did not want the Bureau of Land Management to impound the cattle. He told the inspector that it was not his intention to steal the animals or profit from them.

The criminal complaint and probable cause statement were filed by the inspector, who is a certified law enforcement officer, the New Mexico Livestock Board told the Daily Times on June 30.

Arviso has a court hearing scheduled on July 6 in Aztec Magistrate Court.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at

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